Article. Lee, ChungHwan, Senior editor of DongA Science
Kim, SangHyun, Reporter of DongA Science
Green ships are on the rise. Green ships mean ships that reduce greenhouse gas including carbon dioxide emitted from ships by increasing fuel efficiency through various methods. Since the maritime industry is no longer free from ever-increasing air pollution, the Korea’s shipbuilding industry has jumped into the eco-friendly ship technology research.
IMO has decided to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the maritime industry by setting the allowance of carbon dioxide emissions depending on the type and size of ships at the 61th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held in September, 2010. As for ships on sail, larger than a certain size, the ‘Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI)’ will be applied. Ship operators should establish and execute the ‘Ship Efficiency Management Plan (SEMP)’ to promote fuel-efficient operation of ships. Also it institutionalized the ‘Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI)’ that digitizes the amount of carbon dioxide (g) emitted while transporting a ton of freight every mile for new ships to be built. The EEDI can be understood as the fuel efficiency of cars.
‘Taepyungyang 9’, a hybrid ship developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries
A scene of the 2015 MEPC Conference. The EEDI was enacted in the MEPC conference in 2010.
Since the announcement of those three regulations, the global shipbuilding industry and shipping industry have been eager for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In Korea, joint research projects have been on the way under the government leadership. A project named as ‘Development of energy-saving hull forms and propulsion systems to build the green ship foundation’, which has been conducted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy since 2011, is now coming to completion. Under the comprehensive projects in which Korea Shipbuilding Research Association and Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO) are participated in as principal research institutes, five detail projects of each research area are served by the industry-university-institute partnerships. With the participations of Korea’s major shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Hanjin Heavy Industries and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, companies like POSCO Plantec and POSCO Power, and major universities related to shipbuilding and marine such as Seoul National University, Pusan National University, Chungnam National University, KAIST, Dong Eui University and Korea Maritime and Ocean University have joined along with Koreas Register and Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute(KOMERI). Of the five specific projects, the 1st and 3rd projects are about devising a method that reduces CO2 by optimizing the hull forms and hydrodynamic designs of ships.
The 2nd specific project is to research the optimization of propeller efficiency, aiming to increasing the propulsion system efficiency by 10% higher than before. The 4th specific project is related to recycle methods that recover waste heat produced by ships to utilize as an energy source, and the 5th one is about discovering new renewable energy resources and securing new power sources.
Specifically, the 1st project is under the investigation of the KRISO, a principal research organization, studying original technologies on the improvement of hydrodynamic performances to reduce ship resistance and increase propulsion, as in technologies regarding the development of hull forms that reduce added resistance in waves, the optimization of ship hull forms and the reduction of frictional resistance using air layer. The 2nd project with its principal researcher of Samsung Heavy Industries has a final goal to develop a whole new contra-rotating propeller (CRP) as well as building up a mockup. Hyundai Heavy Industries takes the 3rd specific project with objectives of obtaining a variety of energy saving design (ESD) technologies that enhance the propulsion efficiency by 3~5% depending on ship types, and actually installing them in new ships. POSCO Plantec has completed its 4rd project, which was about developing a pilot model of the 259kW-scale ORC Generation system for ships in relation to the low-temperature waste heat recovery system, and obtaining 1MW-scale design technology. Another completed 5th project was principally participated by Korean Register. It established a test bed for combined power sources based on fuel cells, which aims to verify the feasibility of application of new power sources to ships.
Dr. Ban Suk-Ho who has been leading this research projects in the KRISO said that “the ultimate goal of all the projects is to reduce CO2” and “the biggest achievements are the optimization of hull forms, the development of energy saving devices, the development of design through which the CRP can be actually deployed, and securing the independent technology for the waste heat recovery system. Since this research project has been conducted as a government project, it will come to an end after 5 years of the project period. Therefore follow-up researches are likely to be performed separately in the future.
(left) Samsung Heavy Industries focuses on improving ship performances and developing ship types with a towing tank (400m in length, 14m in width and 7m in depth),
(right) A LNG ship of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy predicts that the market of natural gas-powered ships will grow up to KRW 18 trillion every year (as of 2025).
At present, Korea is the No. 1 country in the global shipbuilding industry. Korea’s large-scale shipbuilders participate in the government projects, which mean that the R&D on green ships is that much important to the Korean shipbuilders. Especially, the researches on new technologies related to EEDI are being conducted very actively because ships that fail to meet the ‘base line’ would not be taken over by shipping companies. For this reason, it is highly possible that the gap becomes wider between shipbuilders being capable of designing to fulfill the EEDI and those who are not. For now, the EEDI base line could be maintained low but the IMO will increase the base line inevitably and continuously. As a result, shipbuilders that cannot control over carbon dioxide would not survive.
Interestingly enough, similar researches had been on the way even before the regulations on greenhouse gas were enforced by the international society because one of the big issues regarding the reduction of GHG emission was fuel-saving, and this is still a nagging problem to the shipbuilding industry. From the ship owner’s perspective, considering the high oil prices, it is reasonable to invest in ships that can save more fuels. And those researches seem to have been progressed to green ship researches.
Dr. Ban, Suk-Ho of the KRISO classified the future green technologies into 10 categories – Slow-streaming technology, Technology to minimize the ship resistance by adjusting a tilt angle to the bow or stern of a ship, Navigation method taking into account weather favorable to sailing based on meteorological satellite information, Energy saving device, Increasing the efficiency of propellers and rudders, Antifouling paint, Alternative fuels, Reduction of loads on main engine, Waste heat recovery device, LNG-fueled ships – Experts agreed that the slow-streaming technology is a way to increase the fuel efficiency at ease and to achieve the greenhouse gas reducing effect without developing additional technologies. If the speed of a ship is reduced by 10%, 30% of horsepower can be saved.
A ship named ‘Econuri’ is the Asia’s first eco-friendly LNG-powered ship built by Samsung Heavy Industries
Shipbuilders including Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) have been actively engaging in developing LNG-fueled ships emitting the lesser amount of pollutants.
Dr. Ban Suk-Ho of the KRISO said that “the ultimate goal of all the projects is to reduce CO2” and “the biggest achievements are the optimization of hull forms, the development of energy saving devices, the development of design through which the CRP can be actually deployed, and securing the independent technology for the waste heat recovery system.
LNG can enable a significant reduction of more than 95% in nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur oxide (Sox), and a good reduction of around 23% in carbon dioxide, as well as a 100% removal of dust, in comparison with heavy fuel oils. Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has completed in 2013 the Asia’s first LNG vessel of ‘EcoNuri’ ordered by Incheon Port Authority. The ship can sail for about 895km on 10 tons of LNG, saving KRW 100 million of the fuel cost a year.
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has jumped into the development of LNG-powered ships since 2009, completing the ME-GI engine development project by working with international major engine makers such as Wartsila Engine and MAN Diesel in December 2014. Having released ‘Taepyungyang 9’, a hybrid ship that uses both an engine and an electronic motor for the first time in Korea in 2009, HHI succeeded in developing the world’s first dual-fuel engine for ships in 2012. This engine can choose either heavy fuel oil or LNG as its fuel. When the ship sails the ocean, it uses heavy fuel oil which is high in fuel efficiency and changes the fuel to LNG when approaching a port since LNG emits pollutants less. This technology, so called a hybrid engine for ships, is one of the green ship technologies that many countries including Japan have been working on intensively.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) also has been accelerating to win contracts of LNG-powered ships since 2014 as well as doing research on shipping technologies with MAN Diesel, like HHI. In 2013, DSME successfully commercialized it through a partnership with MAN Diesel developing the ship engine, and making the fueling system that converts LNG into fuel by itself. DSME applied 200 patents regarding the LNG fueling system in Korea and other countries (127 applications in Korea and 73 applications in other countries), among them, the company successfully completed the registration of 44 patents (40 patents in Korea and 4 patents in other countries). In addition, PRS-related 5 patents were registered out of 38 patents applied at home and abroad.
Hyundai Heavy Industries devised a fuel gas supply device (FGSS, named HI-GAS) that evaporates liquefied LNG and supplies it to an engine at high or low pressure.
Diminishing the frictional force of a ship is important in the green ship technology. Shipbuilders have been working on special paint and antifouling paint to reduce the frictional force, thus R&D on antifouling paint, which should be environmentally friendly, less harmful and non-stick in order to prevent aquatic life from clinging to ships, have been in active progress because the aquatic life adhered to the lower hull degrades the propulsion performance of ships. Also the roughness of paint is very important. The surface of a ship is painted, and if the surface becomes coarser by 0.01mm, the ship would consume fuel 0.3~1.0% more.
To adjust the flow of water during sailing, fittings are increasingly attached to the hull.
(left) ‘Hi-FIN’, a device to improve the fuel efficiency of ships, developed by HHI. This windmill-shaped device is to be attached to the hub of a propeller to offset the swirls of the propeller and to improve the propulsion efficiency (right) HIMSEN Engine H27DF II, a dual-fuel engine of Hyundai Heavy Industries
Shipbuilders including Hyundai Heavy Industries have been actively engaging in developing LNG-fueled ships emitting the lesser amount of pollutants. LNG can enable a significant reduction of more than 95% in nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur oxide (Sox), and a good reduction of around 23% in carbon dioxide, as well as a 100% removal of dust, in comparison with heavy fuel oils.
(left) A ship’s steering room equipped with ICT such as Smart Ship System (right) Commissioning of HIMSEN Engine, H27DF, an engine powered by oil and LNG.
President Park, Geun-hye listens to the explanation of smart ships
in the inauguration ceremony of Ulsan Creative Economy Innovation Center
HHI adopts a method of attaching a special fin called ‘HI-FIN’ to a key, which is a device to adjust directions, located at the rear of a propeller. SHI introduces a fuel-saving method that ameliorates the flow of water coming into a propeller by attaching ‘SAVER-Fin’ to the back side of the hull.
Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of Korea concluded an investment contract to create a fund for the eco-ship project of Hyundai Merchant Marine that amounts to USD 27million in last March. The eco-ship fund worth KRW 1 trillion, created by the Korea EXIM bank at the end of 2014 for subordinated loans available for domestic and foreign shipping companies purchasing ships, has started the first execution project. Hyundai Merchant Marine disburses this fund for 4 bulk carriers (a total of USD 181million) Hanjin Heavy Industries is going to build. At the same time, the eco-ship fund has invested in 2 bulk carriers of Korea Line Corporation.
Last May, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries established ‘Green ship material test · certification center’ within the Jeonbuk, Kunsan 2nd National Industrial Complex with an aim to foster domestic eco-ship technology in various ways. Korean Register (KR) has moved into this complex, conducting national R&D projects jointly with KOMERI and Kunsan University, as well as attracting shipbuilding material companies and creating jobs by utilizing the research facilities in the complex. In particular, the tests · certifications for developing core components of eco-friendly ships, the evaluations · analyses of diesel engines for ships, fuel oil quality, next-generation system and the tests · certifications of exhaust post-processing system are importantly performed in the center. Through the cooperation of researchers between KR and KOMERI, it plans to support the development of shipbuilding materials that fulfill the international technology requirements, being available for standardization worldwide.
The emergence of eco-ships comes up as an opportunity to Korean shipbuilding industry that has been struggling for a while with low-price orders which fall short of the costs in the aftermath of global financial recession. Recently, Maersk (Demark), MSC (Swiss), CMA-CGM (France), Scorpio (U.S.) and other global shipping companies have made orders for new ships in a row to win the competition over fuel efficiency. After 2013, DSME and SHI have won contracts of ‘eco-ships’ as many as 103 ships(USD14billion) and 90 ships(USD13billion) respectively.
It was a meaningful event that HHI, SHI and DSME decided and announced to launch the ‘Mutual cooperation network for eco-ships’ in mid-July with around 50 organizations including small and medium sized companies, government institutes in the inauguration ceremony of Ulsan Creative Economy Innovation Center. Especially the Korea’s big 3 shipbuilders are going to allow small and medium sized venture companies to use their around 2,500 patents to help them nurture the technologies of future ships such as eco-ships and smart ships.
In July 2014, the BS Finance and Management Research Center under the BS Finance Group announced the results of the research that had been carried out with a theme of ‘outlook of the global shipping market and challenges of shipbuilding industry in the southeast’, which predicted that the global shipping market will be recovered in 2017. In response to the long-term recession of the shipping industry around the world, the industry is turning itself into a profit-making structure through cost-reduction. Therefore, it is expected that the shipping industry as a whole moves towards offering shipping services mainly through eco-ships and large-scale vessels.
The global market share of Korean shipbuilding industry, which had been ranked first in 2011 accounting for 40.3%(based on the amount of orders won), fell to a record low in the 2000s, 27.1%, in the first half of 2014. The domestic shipbuilders being in crisis due to the practice of pouring resources into marine plants, from now on, should invest more resources in nurturing the eco-ship technology because if the shipping industry gets recovered in 2017 actually, the demand for large-scale eco-ships will grow largely. In conclusion, we need to make more investments in R&D in order to widen the technological gap with competitors like Japan, China and Europe.
The domestic shipbuilders being in crisis due to the practice of pouring resources into marine plants, from now on, should invest more resources in nurturing the eco-ship technology because if the shipping industry gets recovered in 2017 actually, the demand for large-scale eco-ships will grow largely. In conclusion, we need to make more investments in R&D in order to widen the technological gap with competitors like Japan, China and Europe.