Bunkers Account for 85% of VLCC Voyage Costs

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday November 4, 2013

Bunker fuel represents 85 percent of the voyage costs of Maersk Tankers' very large crude carriers (VLCCs), making "super slow steaming" a key to better earnings, Maritime Propulsion reports.

The company has reduced its VLCC's speeds to as little as 8.5 knots and has also retrofitted a Variable Turbine Inlet System (VTI) on the 318,000 deadweight-tonne Maersk Ingrid.

The VTI reduces the fuel consumption rate in the main engine during slow steaming for more efficient operations.

The Maersk Ingrid uses a VTI from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said to be the first time the system has been used as a retrofit solution.

Tests showed a 1.6 to 3.2 percent fuel consumption reduction from the VTI, and the manufacturers say the system should pay for itself quickly.

Maersk Tankers, a division of A.P. Moeller-Maersk, has been adopting a variety of fuel-saving retrofits in an effort to reduce its bunker costs.

The company has been using the Maersk Ingrid as a pilot case, allowing it to test a number of the design changes.