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ship-to-shore data transfer

Managers face growing volume of ship-to-shore data

The cost of transferring large volumes of operational data from ships is balanced by port state environmental performance incentives and potential savings stemming from improved fuel efficiency

by Wendy Laursen T

echnical managers are increasingly looking to obtain performance data from ships as ports and other organisations

offer more financial incentives for vessels to prove high environmental standards. Northern Marine Management was established by Stena but now has other clients and manages around 50 vessels, mostly oil and product tankers. According to Liam Dodds, superintendent for Northern Marine Management in the UK, commercial managers and charterers are now expressing greater interest in technical operations, creating the need for more sophisticated reporting systems. The company uses in-house IT systems to

analyse the data provided by noon reporting from the vessels. The data is entered manually on board using specially designed forms that minimise the workload of crew members. With many vessels moving towards broadband

satellite communications, a lot of effort is put into negotiating the best airtime deals. “We have seen a spiralling of costs regarding this because people are sending more and more information from the vessel,” says Mr Dodds. “It is all very well trying to be environmentally friendly and report everything, but how do you condense that information and what is relevant?” Turning the data produced by modern engineroom equipment into valuable decision- support information is the main concern of Dr Dale Neef, managing director of DNA Maritime in the US. Dr Neef works independently of equipment manufacturers and software companies to help shipowners identify what information they actually need to meet their compliance and environmental performance goals. Accurate and verifiable data can help ship operators prove, for example, that they have operated their oily water separators and that they have conducted ballast water exchange.

50 I Tanker Shipping & Trade I October/November 2011

Datatrac’s Assetrac supports data collection to assess and monitor the vessel In combination with on-stack measurement

systems, electronic data collection and reporting can provide proof of fuel switching in Emission Control Areas, as well as data of greater accuracy than bunker receipts for use in emissions trading schemes. “In Europe they have been pushing and pushing IMO to try and come up with some sort of system and they agreed to the Energy Efficiency Design Index,” says Dr Neef. “The argument coming from shipping is:

‘We could never do that. Every ship is different so you don’t know how fast you are going or what technology they have, so the best we can do is just report through a bunker receipt.’ But there isn’t that much complexity to these ships and certainly it is not complex to pull that data off. We do it all the time on land when you are monitoring what is coming out of a stack. You could easily monitor location and emissions, ”says Dr Neef. He added that the process would not be costly. Making detailed data about equipment

operations and environmental compliance readily available raises privacy issues: it could be detrimental to a shipowner if a regulator were to find something amiss in the data.

Some shipowners say it would be like driving around in your car with your speed electronically displayed for all to see. If shipowners did report their performance

accurately, it would be good if they got some credit for it, says Dr Neef. “For those companies that have invested in scrubber technology, a bunker receipt is not going to give them any credit. This takes away the incentive to invest in new technologies and do anything other than slow steam.” Engineering Software Reliability Group

(ESRG) of the US offers OstiaEdge monitoring suite technology with OstiaEdge Central Edition monitoring software to collect and analyse machinery log data taken from a ship’s control system. The systems facilitate fuel and machinery efficiency analysis at a vessel and fleet level, and provide early warning of problems. ESRG works with shipping companies to understand their business requirements. It can implement a business process management system that assigns the review of information to particular individuals within the organisation. Jörn Springer, head of operations at

Futureship, spoke about the implementation of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans

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