Today, ship owners and operators are facing significant increases in fuel costs – one of the biggest operating costs for maritime operators – to meet new low-sulfur fuel regulations from international and EU regulators1. International shipping is a large and growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and replacing current global stockpiles with fuels that meet the new 0.5 percent maximum sulfur content required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) from January 1, 2020 could add $35 billion in costs across the sector, according to some estimates2.
The Fujitsu Vessel Fuel Optimization (VFO) service is the first offering resulting from a new partnership between Fujitsu and Kongsberg Digital3, a leading worldwide provider of next generation software and digital solutions to customers within maritime, oil & gas, and renewables & utilities sectors. Expected to deliver a range of cost-effective digital solutions to the maritime industry, the service is offered as part of Kongsberg’s Kognifai Services portfolio of digital eco solutions.
Easy-to-use service generates immediate and substantial savings across shipping classes
The Fujitsu VFO service is easy-to-use and applicable across a broad range of shipping classes, generating immediate and substantial savings for customers, while putting them on course to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets for the maritime transport sector. No sensor or software installation is required on vessels, as the service is a web-based application that can be deployed immediately. It uses AI to learn ship captains’ strategies and ships’ performances, combines this with meteorological and hydrographic forecasts, such as wind, waves and ocean currents, and recommends optimal routes to maximize energy-efficiency, safety and profitability.
The VFO service, developed by Fujitsu Laboratories4, is a cutting edge AI and data analytics ship route optimization solution, capable of utilizing open-source AIS (Automatic Identification System) data. It allows shipmasters and onshore managers to follow planned and updated routes and maintain dialogue with the crew about the optimal route, helping to save fuel. New value-added advanced services will also be offered capable of taking advantage of input from ships’ VDRs (Vessel Data Recorders), such as the engine log and sensor data from more modern, data-rich seafaring vessels.
Yves de Beauregard, Head of Digital Business Solutions at Fujitsu EMEIA, says: “The shipping industry is about to undergo a global shift to a new fuel, with implications so enormous they have been compared to the change from coal to steam. The Fujitsu Vessel Fuel Optimization service is a quick and straightforward solution that will lead to reduced fuel costs and the ability to maintain profitability, while at the same time contributing to cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”
Vigleik Takle, SVP of Maritime Digital Solutions at Kongsberg Digital, comments: “Kongsberg Digital has responded rapidly to the pressure the maritime transport sector faces to comply with new fuel regulations, and to offer customers innovative digital solutions on Kognifai that deliver tangible results now and offer rapid-payback. We chose to work with Fujitsu because of the company’s leadership in AI and advanced analytics, as these present valuable new opportunities to improve fleet operating efficiencies by large margins. Building on the infrastructure provided by KONGSBERG’s Vessel Insight, the new VFO service is the first solution from a partnership that will expand to address a range of important business outcomes for the maritime industry.”
Fujitsu and Kongsberg Digital have a long-term commitment towards the preservation of the environment by creating and delivering climate-friendly and cost-efficient business solutions. This unique co-creation approach will leverage Fujitsu’s strength in cutting-edge AI and data analytics technologies, and Kongsberg Digital’s vast domain expertise and experience to deliver a range of cost-effective digital solutions to the maritime industry.
Notes to editors
1’Sulfur 2020’ is an initiative from the IMO to reduce sulfur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass). This will significantly reduce the amount of sulfur oxides emanating from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts.
Sulfur oxides (SOx) are known to be harmful to human health, causing respiratory symptoms and lung disease. In the atmosphere, SOx can lead to acid rain, which can harm crops, forests and aquatic species, and contributes to the acidification of the oceans. A study on the human health impacts of SOx emissions from ships, submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in 2016 by Finland, estimated that by not reducing the SOx limit for ships from 2020, the air pollution from ships would contribute to more than 570,000 additional premature deaths worldwide between 2020-2025. The European Union has already agreed that the 0.5% sulfur requirement will go into effect in 2020 within 200 nautical miles (370 km) of EU Member States’ coasts, regardless of what the IMO decides.
2There is an estimated 250 million-plus tonnes of fuel oil stockpiled for use by the global shipping fleet annually. About 65-70% of this does not meet the new 0.5% sulfur standard, meaning that 165-175 million tonnes of fuel will have to be changed to a more expensive Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) version at a premium of about USD $180-200 per tonne - roughly $35 billion in added costs across the sector. Source: Sulfur 2020, the oil market and fuel prices: What does the future hold?
3Kongsberg Digital is a provider of next-generation software and digital solutions to customers within maritime, oil and gas, and renewables and utilities. The company consists of more than 500 software experts with leading competence within the internet of things, smart data, artificial intelligence, maritime simulation, automation and autonomous operations. Kongsberg Digital is subsidiary of KONGSBERG (OSE-ticker: KOG), an international, knowledge based group delivering high-technology systems and solutions to clients within the oil and gas industry, subsea, merchant marine, defense and aerospace.
4Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/labs/en/.
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Date: 05 June, 2019
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