What is Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan?

With the growing concerns over increasing greenhouse gases and consumption of fossil fuels, the maritime industry governing body IMO has already taken positive steps by implementing the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which monitors the amount of CO2 and harmful emissions from ships.

The idea of Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) is to improve the hull design and machinery operations and to reduce the CO2 emissions by increasing the ship’s overall efficiency.

However, the SEEM plan needs to be developed and implemented by the shipowner to potentially reduce the operational cost of the ship which will eventually help in reducing the overall fuel consumption, including emissions and losses in the longer run.

What is SEEMP?

As the new concept of EEDI has been introduced for newly built ships, IMO has developed and structured a special tool called the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan to measure and control GHG emissions from the already existing shipping fleet.

The Ship energy efficiency Management Plan provides a practical approach for ship operators and ship management companies to manage operations and fleet efficiency performance over time using the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) as a monitoring tool.

Related Read: How to Improve Energy Efficiency of Ships?

The Ship Energy efficiency management plan to improve the efficiency of the ship can be implemented in various ways such as by optimizing the speed of the vessel, making a course change to tackle rough weather, hull cleaning in dry dock, installing heat recovery methods etc. All these methods help in increasing the ship’s efficiency and optimizing the ship operation.

The SEEMP is a plan which is ship specific and has to be implemented according to the ship type, cargoes carried, ship routes, and other relevant factors. Hence, SEEMP cannot be implemented on a company or fleet level.

Even two sister ships will need to have a separate Ship Energy Efficiency Management plan as they will be operating in different conditions.
The basics of creating the SEEMP for a particular ship is to estimate and determine the current energy consumption of the vessel and implement various measure to reduce the same.


Key Features of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan

  • Broader Corporate energy management policy

As said earlier, SEEMP needs to be implemented on an individual ship level. However, a company operating multiple ships must have a more comprehensive energy management policy for all ships in its fleet, which will act as a base to form the SEEMP for an individual type of ship

  • Enhancement of ship efficiency

The primary objective of the SEEMP is to improve the overall operating efficiency of the ship on a long run by implementing correct and optimized methods for energy and fuel saving

  • Reduction in fuel consumption

Any ship operator will be happy to save more cost on the marine oil used as ship fuel. A critical function of the SEEMP is to implement methods which can reduce the overall fuel consumption of the ship as it leads to a reduction in air pollution and fuel cost, which is one of the significant operating cost of the vessel.

Related Read: 7 Technologies To Reduce Fuel Consumption Of Ships

  • A decrease in GHG emission from the ship

SEEMP do emphasis on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships by providing methods for reducing the fuel consumption and using alternative fuel which causes less GHG emissions.

How to implement SEEMP? 

SEEMP is ship specific plan which can be efficiently implemented on vessels in 4 steps:

1. Planning

Before implementation of any method, there has to be “planning” of how the process should be implemented. Planning is the most critical step for implementation of SEEMP; it essentially defines the current status of the energy used by the ship and how the current energy consumption can be reduced further, by creating and implementing an effective plan. The shipping management company has to compile the energy consumption of the ship by different forms such as the use of fuel, machinery installed, the efficiency of the machinery and systems, condition of the ship’s hull and paint, last dry-dock record etc. Once the data has been collected, the Broader Corporate energy management policy of the company is taken as base to draw the SEEMP for the ship.

2. Implementation

Once the planning for SEEMP is in place, the next important step is to identify different ways of implementing the measures which were selected during the planning. The Ship Energy Efficiency Management plant will consist of implementation methods and roles/ responsibility of the stakeholders involved (Company representative, Ship operator, Seafarers etc.).
Again, the implementation system has to be drawn during the planning stage to ensure smooth execution of SEEMP on the ship at the earliest.

The company’s corporate energy management policy can come very handy if the implementation methods are specified in the same. This set method of implementation can be used during establishing SEEMP on an individual ship. Record keeping should be a part of all the stages post-planning stage as the records were taken during the implementation stage can be used for the later stage of self-evaluation, which will help in improvising the plan.

3. Monitoring

Once the SEEMP is implemented on a ship, the monitoring of the plan will come into action, which will observe the effectiveness of the implemented SEEMP. There are pre-determined approved methods of international standards available to monitor the performance of SEEMP such as EEOI (as per the Guidelines developed by the IMO – MEPC.1/Circ.684).
EEOI is Energy Efficiency operational indicator which can be determined by the fuel consumption of the ship in a particular voyage carrying a certain amount of cargo.

To calculate the EEOI, the following data is needed:

EEOI Calculation
Where j is the fuel type
I is the voyage number
FCi is the mass of fuel consumed during the voyage
Mcargo is mass of cargo carried in tonnes
Di is the nautical miles distance for the cargo carried
Ccarbon is mass of the fuel to CO2 mass conversion factor of the fuel.
Other methods for measurement and monitoring can also be used if the company seems it is useful.

In the planning stage, the monitoring method can be stated and how to use the method can also be established making it easier for the user (seafarers and operators) to implement the system and to know his/her responsibility within the system.

4. Self-evaluation and improvement

The result of Monitoring stages needs to be evaluated to understand the effectiveness of the SEEMP which will be done at the last stage. This stage highly depends on the constructive feedback which can be assessed to improvise the plan if needed, and the same is used to enhance the planning, implementation and monitoring stages.  These four stages work in a cycle and are interdependent for the evaluation and evolution of the complete SEEMP. It is the responsibility of the ship operator to ensure the feedbacks, results, and reports that came from different stages of the SEEMP cycle are tracked and assessed and the output from them is used to improvise the plan.

SEEMP Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan

The other focused area of SEEMP is to reduce GHG emissions while increasing operational efficiency of the ship, resulting in less fuel consumption. Following steps are taken to achieve efficient operation of the vessel under SEEMP:

• Speed optimization:

The speed of the ship determines the amount of fuel the main engine will use to propel the ship. An optimized speed is a speed at which the fuel consumption decreases without hampering the ETA to the next port. Slow steaming has been a proven strategy to reduce the fuel consumption of the ship saving hundreds of dollars in fuel cost to the owner. However, there are other problems associated with slow steaming, hence optimum speed Is determined by keeping all the factors in mind.

Related Read: Slow Steaming of Ships: Optimization of Ship’s Main Engine

Charter Party do play an important role as there agreements will allow ship operator to run the ship at optimized speed to achieve greater energy efficiency from the ship’s machinery.

• Weather routing

It is fascinating how ship tackles big storms out at sea. There have been no significant accidents lately of ship damages or sinking due to storms and rough weather as nowadays weather routing use advanced technology to predict the upcoming weather and to alter the course of the ship.

Related Read: What to do When Ship Encounters Rough Weather?

This technology is very useful and helps in the energy efficiency of the ship as rough weather can slow down a ship and the engine needs to put more power to propel against the tide or wind, leading to more fuel consumption. With weather routing, an altered course can solve this problem, making it safer for the ship’s crew and cargo and also saving fuel and increasing the energy efficiency of the ship.

• Hull monitoring and maintenance

Hull roughness of the ship is inversely proportional to the speed of the ship. This means that the engine of the ship has to work more to achieve the desired speed if the hull is rough.
The hull roughness of the ship is analysed at regular intervals for cleaning and painting of the surface. A better and advanced system such as MGPS can reduce the marine growth on the hull and improve the overall energy efficiency of the ship

Related Read: Various Methods Used for Evaluating Ship’s Resistance

• Efficient cargo operation

The cargo operation at the port is a teamwork between the ship, port, agents and other parties involved (PSC, coast guard etc.). Good and clear communication between them will ensure smoother cargo operation, leading to less time in port. This will help the ship to maintain the ETA for the other ports otherwise the ship has to sail at a higher speed for the next call which will lead to additional fuel consumption, affecting the energy efficiency of the ship.

Related Read: What is Ship-Shore Interface Management in the Shipping World?

• Electric power management

The ship’s electrical power plant generates enough energy to ensure all the propulsion, cargo, and other auxiliary equipment can be operational at any given time. The use of a generator at low load, use of multiple pumps etc., will lead to more fuel and electrical consumption, affecting the energy efficiency. The seafarers need to be trained on how to use ship’s machinery effectively so that the power consumption will be at an optimum level.

Role of Seafarers in SEEMP:

Seafarers play a crucial role in implementing the SEEMP onboard ship and also in providing the feedback, reports, performance etc. to the shore office which is further used to enhance the plan.

Realted Read: 20 Ways for Seafarers to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint on Ships

Following are some of the essential roles which a seafarer plays in SEEMP:

• Implementing the procedure as laid down in the SEEMP
• Monitoring the performance of the SEEMP procedures and how it is affecting the ship operation
• Collecting reports, and sending the logs, performance etc. to the company for evaluation
• Establishing a safety and sustainability culture onboard ship to add to the energy efficiency of the ship
• Efficiently managing the cargo operation when in port and maintaining the ship’s machinery to avoid breakdown and delays to the shipping schedule
• Implementing correct and modern navigation technique for the optimized voyage planning

SEEMP is not a set rule of operations and it has to evolve in terms of providing better energy saving solutions than the previous ones. The improvisation of SEEMP highly depends on the different parties involved in the shipping operation such as Port operator, Ship owners, shipyard, ship managers, seafarers etc.

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