In 2018, the maritime industry continued to rebound as vessel ordering and transport demand increased. On the regulatory side, the new IMO greenhouse gas reduction strategy put the challenge of decarbonizing shipping front and centre. At DNV GL, we helped customers navigate these new waters while enhancing safety and sustainability.
Digitalization is starting to have an impact on the shape of the maritime industry and the first commercial autonomous vessels are due to launch in the next few years. To help build a safety culture around these new technologies, DNV GL released a new class guideline covering autonomous and remotely operated ships. The guideline covers navigation, vessel engineering, remote control centres and communications.
Particular emphasis is given to two key areas that emerge from the reliance of autonomous and remote concepts on software and communications systems: cyber security and software testing. Both the concept-qualification process and technology-qualification process include cyber-security aspects in the risk analysis.
Not only the systems themselves, but also the associated infrastructure and network components, servers, operator stations and other endpoints should all take cyber security into account, incorporating multiple layers of defence where possible.
In terms of software, the quality assurance of software-based systems is essential, and a well-established development process and multifaceted end-product testing strategy should be used to ensure safe operations.
DNV GL is very proud to have signed a contract for the classification of Royal Caribbean International’s new ICON Class vessels. The design of these vessels uses the most advanced technologies available to reduce the ships’ environmental impact.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is envisioned as the primary fuel for the new vessels, and would dramatically reduce or even eliminate emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX) and particulates, as well as cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The ICON Class will also introduce fuel cell technology which, in combination with hull air lubrication, means the ships could potentially be some of the most fuel-efficient cruise vessels ever constructed.
DNV GL – Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen held the chairmanship of IACS from July 2017 to June 2018. When he handed over to the new chairman, he could look back on a year of many accomplishments. Highlights included achieving full compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s Goal Based Standards. IACS undertook a substantial revision of membership criteria and a new internal benchmarking process to support members in improving their performance while also increasing the transparency of members’ quality performance.
A working group examined the relevant resolutions on ship autonomy to identify the standards that present potential barriers to autonomous ship operations, and a pilot project looked at how to overcome these barriers. A joint industry working group focused on cyber safety. IACS is also developing recommendations to assist shipbuilders in delivering cyber-resilient newbuildings.
Programmable control systems are an essential part of ships and offshore units, but their increasing integration and connectivity make these systems a target for cyber-security threats. To help shipowners and operators protect their assets, DNV GL released the Cyber secure class notations. These notations have three different qualifiers: Basic, Advanced and +.
Basic is primarily intended for ships in operation, while Advanced is designed to be applied throughout the newbuilding process, with requirements for asset owners and operators, system integrators (e.g. yards), and equipment manufacturers. Basic and Advanced cover a number of essential systems, including propulsion, steering, navigation and power generation. The third qualifier, +, is intended for systems that are not part of the default scope of Basic/Advanced, giving owners and operators the flexibility to identify the threats, conduct an assessment and secure extra systems which are important to their operations.
2018 saw the release of the second Maritime Forecast to 2050, an independent forecast of the maritime energy future and how the energy transition will affect the shipping industry. The new forecast focuses on the challenges of decarbonizing the shipping industry. It further develops the concept of the “carbon robust” ship with a new model that now evaluates fuel and technology options by comparing the break-even costs of a design to that of the competing fleet of ships. This supports maritime stakeholders in evaluating the long-term competitiveness of their vessels and fleet and future-proofing their assets.
A case study revealed some striking findings, including that investing in energy efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint beyond existing standards can increase the competitiveness of a vessel over its lifetime, and that high-emitting vessels could be exposed to significant market risks in 2030 and 2040.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a term covering processes that create objects by adding layers of material, and includes technologies like 3D printing and rapid prototyping. AM holds a great deal of promise for shipping, allowing products and components to be printed as needed, even on board vessels and offshore installations. It can also be used for maintenance and repair by adding layers of material to worn components.
To help the technology spread, in 2018 DNV GL released the first approval of manufacturer (AoM) scheme for manufacturers wishing to supply products that comply with class rules and standards. The AoM programme verifies a manufacturer’s ability to manufacture materials and products in accordance with DNV GL rules. In 2018, DNV GL also opened the Global Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Singapore, an incubator and testbed for research into and the development of AM technology for the oil & gas, offshore and marine sectors.
The rapidly approaching 2020 fuel sulphur cap and newly announced IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy have put the spotlight on alternative fuels for shipping. In 2018, DNV GL launched the Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform to give the industry a comprehensive and continually updated overview of alternative fuel projects, bunkering infrastructures, suppliers and technologies, such as scrubbers. The platform consolidates a wealth of detailed technical information on these fuels and technologies and examines their capabilities and limitations, as well as giving practical insights into their implementation and operation.
Additionally, a new DNV GL white paper, “Alternative fuels and technologies for greener shipping”, examines the price, availability, regulatory challenges and environmental benefits of alternative fuels and technologies, including LNG, LPG, hydrogen, fuel cells, and hybrid and battery technologies, and compares them to the use of conventional fuel with scrubbers and new low-sulphur alternatives. It identifies and examines the factors that will affect the uptake and acceptance of alternative fuels and technologies in shipping, including: environmental compatibility, availability, fuel costs and the international rules within the IGF Code.