Green insights from FOCUSPOINT

The Switch, together with Wärtsilä, held a thought-provoking session on April 11 with leading maritime journalists: how can shipowners move toward a greener future while cutting costs?

A new day dawned in Oslo, capital of Norway and the maritime hub of the Nordic region, as journalists representing international trade publications gathered to listen to presentations from global maritime leaders. The three-day FOCUSPOINT press event, organized by the maritime PR agency Blue-C, tackled topics ranging from maritime services to green thinking, and brought together key companies and experts within the industry. The Switch and Wärtsilä presented their “Think connected” topic – an invitation to look at the bigger picture of system integration and total vessel life cycle.

The session started with a presentation from Torbjørn Lie, General Manager, Marine Solutions Sales, Wärtsilä. An ever-more-common question in shipbuilding is how can shipowners meet the new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and, more importantly for them, how can they finance these goals?

“If you don’t plan for the changes now, your vessel might be obsolete in 15 to 20 years,” Torbjørn pointed out. “The keyword is flexibility. Hybrid installations help with peak shaving. They stabilize the operation of the engine, and the battery compensates for power fluctuations. Overall, this leads to less maintenance and less fuel consumption.”

Wärtsilä showed several cases in which a hybrid solution had helped vessels significantly improve key performance indicators. In many cases, Wärtsilä had worked closely with The Switch to improve system integration with the hybrid energy storage.

Asbjørn Halsebakke, General Manager, Norway, The Switch, agrees with the notion that shipowners should look many years ahead when making the choices for their vessels today. “We have over ten years of experience with DC-Hubs,” he says. “Our portfolio of successful cases has grown, and the rest of the world is now starting to understand how this solution can change the game. The pioneers who have used this technology have looked over their total operating costs and realized that a hybrid solution not only improves performance, but also contributes to significant operational savings.”

Halsebakke went on to conclude that current movements within the industry offer interesting opportunities, especially if shipowners are willing to prepare for them.

The event ended with a lively discussion among the professionals around the table. Everyone in the room agreed that even though the Nordic region is a pioneer in green shipping technologies, we still have a long way to go to convince the world that green shipping is the future.

Asbjørn Halsebakke giving a presentation at the FOCUSPOINT press event.