Lowering GHG Emissions Gives Better Than Expected Bunker Cost Savings: Study

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday September 2, 2016

Vessels with a higher design efficiency, and therefore produce less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than their peers, are enjoying better than expected bunker cost savings, according to a new study by UCL Energy Institute (UCL) and Carbon War Room (CWR).

The study investigated the role of energy efficiency in vessel competitiveness using data on market dynamics alongside data on vessel operational patterns derived from the Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Efficiency was measured using CWR and RightShip's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rating, with the most efficient vessels rated A, and the least efficient rated G.

"The research showed that vessels with higher design efficiency, as measured by the GHG Emissions Rating, save more fuel on average than design alone would indicate," the groups said.

"This means, for example, that in 2012 the difference in fuel costs between a B-rated and an F-rated Capesize vessel was, on average, $5,500 per day, or nearly $1.5 million annually; a higher difference than would be anticipated based on design."

While this is presumably good news for bunker buyers, the study also concluded that following the 2008 global market crash, the savings did not translate into financial gains for owners of such eco-vessels in the time charter market.

Last August RightShip announced it had made some "minor adjustments" to the formula for its GHG emissions rating, making the assumed fuel-type for non-verified vessels to be MGO, rather than the previous HFO.