By Claes Eek Thorstensen,
President & Chief Commercial Officer, Thome Group
Efficient fuel management has always been an important and vital component when managing vessels and with the upcoming sulphur cap in 2020, it has become even more critical than ever. Fuel consumption represent the largest part of a ship’s total operating costs so it is vitally important that we have robust fuel management plans in place to make sure we use fuel as efficiently as possible.
There are some interesting articles in this issue on this very subject and I would recommend that you read and take note of the very good advice given by the authors.
There are many factors that affects a ship’s efficiency from its trim, ballasting, overall speed, engine performance to how clean the hull is to reduce drag from biofouling.
Power management and ensuring that machinery is maintained and operated correctly is critical to vessel operation and is good ship management standard. Thome has fuel and lubs monitoring software and a technical support organisations ashore whom monitor and guides, however it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the vessel is operated in the most cost effective manner.
The industry also has now the added complexity of the upcoming sulphur cap regulations to comply with in 2020 with options ranging from the use of scrubbers to switching to low-sulphur fuels.
Preparations for these alternatives need to be planned well in advance as they will all take time to implement or retrofit.
With many port authorities banning the use of open-loop scrubbers and the high cost of installation, it then comes down to whether or not there will be enough low-sulphur fuel alternatives available around the world and the implications that this will have for the industry as a whole.
However, I am confident that the Thome Group will work with its principals, charterers and other stakeholders to find the right solutions for their vessels to manage this changeover as smoothly as possible and ensure that we can continue operation without any major disruptions to vessel trading.
Ship management is about being the best provider of services to the satisfaction of the owners and charterers. Stringent fuel and power management ensures that we remain competitive and offer the extra edge.