Brian Ladin Explains What’s Being Done to Reduce Vessel Air Emissions
Container shipping is one of the most widely used transportation methods in existence. However, in recent years many people have shared concerns over the environmental impact and sustainability of this shipping method. With the undeniable effects of climate change being felt around the globe, it’s not enough for container shipping to be efficient, it must also be eco-friendly. Luckily, the industry has taken note of the environmental changes of the last decade and has already begun implementing a variety of practical measures to reduce the air pollution caused by ships.
Brian Ladin is the founder of Delos Shipping and a firm believer that in order for container shipping to continue as a viable shipping method, vessels must be as energy efficient as possible. Prior to founding Delos Shipping, Ladin built a successful career as an entrepreneur and investment professional, serving as a partner at companies such as Talisman Capital and Bonanza Capital, where his efforts generated more than $100 million in profits. Currently, he utilizes his years of experience at Delos Shipping, a capital provider to the shipping industry, primarily focused on distressed assets, long term leases, and cyclical asset plays. Below, Brian Ladin outlines what is currently being done to reduce vessel air emissions.
Anti-Fouling Vessel Coatings
Brian Ladin claims that one of the actions being taken to reduce vessel emissions is covering ships in anti-fouling coatings. Anti-fouling vessel coatings work to reduce the build-up of live organisms such as algae or even crabs that often attach themselves to the hull and propellers of ships. This process is referred to as biofouling and results in a layer of organisms on the underwater parts of the ship, so thick that it increases the vessel’s resistance in the water. In turn, the ship has to use more fuel to go the same distance. In fact, the International Maritime Organization claims that this additional biological layer can increase fuel consumption up to 38%. To combat this, it’s necessary to keep the bottom of the ship as clean as possible, which is what anti-fouling coatings work to do.
Another way in which vessels are reducing their air emissions is by switching to low-Sulphur fuels or alternative fuel sources altogether. Currently, marine fuel is legally able to contain 3.5% sulphur content. However, as of January 2020, the International Maritime Organization will be reducing this limit to just 0.5% Sulphur content. Vessels around the world have already begun experimenting with new forms of low-Sulphur fuels that significantly lower emissions. These include marine diesel oil, liquefied natural gas, and methanol. Meanwhile, Brian Ladin says alternative methods of fueling ships, such as wind and solar power, biofuels, and hydrogen fuel cells, are also being explored by countries around the world.
Energy Efficient Design
Believe it or not, the design of a vessel can impact the amount of energy it uses. That is why in 2011, the International Maritime Organization published the Energy Efficient Design Index, which created a standard with energy efficiency in mind. According to Brian Ladin, founder of Delos Shipping, the three elements of ship design that have the largest impact on energy consumption are the shape of the hull, rudder, and propeller. When these three features are optimized, they can reduce fuel consumption by 15%. In addition, Ladin notes that it is not only possible but relatively simple for modifications to be made to existing vessels, which makes updating a ship’s design a much easier task than it might seem.
Brian Ladin asserts that a reduction in speed, otherwise known as slow steaming, is one of the best methods of reducing fuel consumption and air emissions. A small reduction in speed, even 5%, can have huge benefits, with reported fuel savings of between 13% and 19% depending on the type of vessel. Although travel time may be slightly increased, it is a small price to pay for the possibility of reducing emissions by such a significant percentile.
Shore power is defined as the process whereby ships receive electrical power from the shore while docked. While docked in a port, power is necessary in order for the ship to maintain lighting, heating, and cooling. In the past, this power came from the ship’s own auxiliary engines. However, shore power enables ships to turn off these engines, thus reducing the amount of diesel fuel that is burned. Overall, Brian Ladin shares that this method of powering docked vessels has the ability to prevent unnecessary air emissions, as well as improve the quality of air at the destination in which the boat is docked. Specifically, studies have found that shore power can reduce Sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter emissions by 88%.