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Q&A: Foreship’s Jan-Erik Räsänen on sustainability

Written by

Heather Ervin

Jan-Erik Räsänen from Foreship on the sustainability of shipping. (Credit: Foreship)

Marine Log (ML): Can you start by describing what sustainability means to Foreship, both broadly and in the context of the maritime industry?

Jan-Erik Räsänen (JER): There is a direct correlation between increased social awareness of environmental issues and the growing demand for ships designed and built for sustainability. However, policy makers need to listen to many voices when it comes to the environment, with different agendas at stake.

As a naval architecture, marine engineering and project management consultancy, Foreship helps clients establish and maintain a clear vision in their vessel design initiatives, and convert that vision into safe and compliant realities that also make sense for ROI. Today, sustainability is therefore at the heart of everything Foreship does in vessel design and development for hydrodynamic efficiency, EEXI compliance analysis, energy storage, shore charging, batteries fuel, alternative fuels, ballast water management, etc. , evaluates and installs innovative technologies so that owners and operators can future-proof their vessels.

ML: Foreship has noted the importance of adopting new, often unknown, technologies to achieve sustainability goals. Can you talk about how Foreship facilitates this?

I : Foreship offers a full range of services from design to project delivery. Technologies developed to improve vessel durability are often new to the market and unfamiliar, and therefore require adaptation and close monitoring during installation.

Foreship’s enabling role could be best explained by providing an example. At the invitation of a major cruise ship owner, we are overseeing the installation of what will be the largest battery ever used to power ships. In addition to providing stored energy to increase flexibility for maximum engine load, the battery will have enough power to drive zero-emissions main propulsion over short distances in harbor waters.

While project details are confidential, we can say that the owner’s request to Foreship specified the expected output for its upcoming commitment to zero-emission battery power. Our role has included concept design, a fire stability and integrity review, basic design, detailed design including structural modifications, creation of conversion specifications, documentation for class and technical project management.

ML: Can you explain how Foreship uses advanced design and analysis to achieve its clients’ environmental and energy goals? What is the relationship between efficiency and sustainability?

JER: As stated, Foreship customers expect sustainability and return on investment to go hand in hand. Obviously, advanced design skills can be decisive. Batteries, for example, are recognized as an enabler of sustainable inland and coastal navigation operations, but adoption has been hampered by electrical integration systems and costs. To make battery power more accessible, Foreship recently designed a containerized battery energy storage system to maximize energy content within the fixed footprint of a 20-foot equivalent-sized structure. Known as the E-House, the facility meets all regulatory requirements for structural integrity and fire safety.

Another key consideration limiting the impact of battery energy storage systems has been the challenge of drawing power from the grid. In a new iteration of the E-House, Foreship is also part of the EU-funded Current Direct project to develop an interchangeable power supply unit to overcome this problem. It steers the development of standardized interfaces, in work whose importance goes beyond the scope of the pilot project.

As part of the project itself, Foreship will carry out the economic evaluation of the overall concept and provide a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of its performance for comparison with existing EU inland waterway transport operations. The Current Direct project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement number 963603.

ML: How does Foreship Consulting provide services that contribute to more educated and sustainable business practices?

I : Whatever the future, it is clear that conventional internal combustion engines using conventional fuels will not lead the way towards IMO CO2 emissions targets, no matter how efficient they are.

Foreship has over a decade of experience in sizing and designing battery systems, but has also developed mature positions on a range of alternative fuels and fuel cells. Focusing on fuel cells, which convert hydrogen-rich fuel into electrical and thermal energy through electrochemical oxidation, for example, Foreship’s assessments are also fully evidence-based and independent of specific technologies.

Fuel cells are poised to be among the industry’s preferred power generation solutions for years to come, but shipowners are seeking information on the technology and the impact of installing it on board a vessel. .

Foreship has undertaken extensive evaluations of the two main solutions – the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) – comparing their current advantages and disadvantages and their potential. His latest study was developed using a state-of-the-art reference cruise ship to compare the impact of a low-temperature (LT) PEMFC using LH, an LTPEMFC using MeOH, and a SOFC using LNG on the performance of the ship with that obtained using a conventional engine.

Categories: Environment, Naval architecture, Questions and answers, Maritime transport
Keywords: alternative fuels, Foreship, IMO sulfur cap, naval architecture, ship design, shipping, sustainability, sustainable shipping


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