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Project says slow ahead is path to cutting CO2 emissions

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slowaheadNew tankers and bulk carriers built in 2050 could have service speeds of only 5 knots. Partners from nine European countries are working on an EU-funded project  called ULYSSES to develop environmentally friendly, ultra-slow ships.

The objective of ULYSSES project is to demonstrate, through a combination of ultra slow speeds and complementary technologies, that the efficiency of the world fleet can be increased to a point where the following CO2 targets are met:

  • Before 2020, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to 1990 levels,
  • Beyond 2050, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to 1990 levels.

ULYSSES focuses on bulk carriers and tankers as these produce 60 percent of the CO2 from ocean-going vessels. As bulk carriers and tankers are reasonably similar in design and operation, it is felt that investigating these ships will give the best value for money in terms of potential impact of the project. Additionally, it is more technically challenging to reduce the speed of these ship types as they are relatively slow speed already and therefore it is expected that directional stability and other seakeeping issues will arise. However, the results of the project will be directly transferable to other ship types.

To achieve these goals, it is expected that the target speeds will be:

  • Phase I – Existing vessel in 2020: ~10 knots,
  • Phase III – New vessel built in 2050: ~5 knots.

More information at www.ultraslowships.com

March 9, 2011

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