ABS, the US-based marine certification organisation has released a new Energy & Environmental Manager module within its NS5 Enterprise marine asset management software suite. The module is part of the ABS services that help owners and operators meet the environmental and operational demands of the maritime industry.
A aim of the new module is to help ship owners and operators manage voyages in a more environmentally sound way by tracking and recording key voyage-related events. These include fuel and lube oil consumption, fuel oil switching (to low sulphur fuel in Emission Control Areas), cargo information and ballast activities. The module makes it easier to monitor and report the information needed for various regulation requirements, including Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans, ballast water management and MARPOL VI (fuel switching). The module also tracks performance data at a ship and fleet level, to maximise operational efficiencies.
ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki said “One of the biggest challenges facing the marine and offshore industries is how to successfully meet changing environmental regulatory requirements. ABS is systematically combining traditional class services with innovative products and services to support compliance efforts and improve vessel performance.”
Review: There is very little focus on greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, partly because international shipping tends to be omitted from national legislation (as in the UK), partly because, relatively speaking, its far more efficient than the alternative of air transport, but mostly because cars are the most obvious and prevalent source of emissions that we come across every day.
But the fuel used for shipping is much less ‘clean’ than in other forms of transport. The high sulphur content has resulted in the introduction of Emissions Control Areas (ECA), where a lower-sulphur alternative has to be used to prevent coastal pollution. Hence the ‘fuel switching’.
That’s just one of the regulations that ships need to adhere to and the requirement will become more complex as ECAs expand and other environmental legislation is introduced. It means that the marine industry is as susceptible as other sectors to the need for monitoring and managing the CO2 and other pollutants they emit, hence this new Green IT software module from ABS.