Month: February 2016

Lighthouse intensifies work on feasibility studies

During 2016 Lighthouse will run three different feasibility studies aimed towards the Lighthouse vision about a competitive, sustainable and safe maritime sector with a good working environment.

Lighthouse second programme committee meeting this year has gone through the feasibility studies which dealt with everything from energy efficiency to safety at sea. – It is important that the feasibility study will lead to something, like a programme or a project, Karl Garme, researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology and member of the programme committee, says. Lighthouse activities are based on ten priority areas and the feasibility studies Lighthouse finances must develop at least one of these areas. As example, the studies may deal with alternative energy for ship propulsion and energy supply or sustainable working life within shipping. Another prerequisite is that the feasibility studies is conducted in cooperation between several players in the industry and academia.

The programme committee’s assessment of the projects is now handed over to Lighthouse Board. 

– There are many interesting proposals with renowned participants and there is great potential that we can contribute to the necessary development of the maritime sector, Åsa Burman, Director at Lighthouse, says.

How can coastal shipping increase?

How Sweden can increase its coastal shipping was the theme of a seminar organized by the Swedish Maritime Forum and Mälarhamnar AB. Coastal shipping is the traffic that uses the waterway along the coast. Most of the speakers addressed the importance of intermodal perspective, competitive neutrality between transport modes and greater cooperation between actors.

During the seminar, Erik Bromander, State Secretary at the Ministry for Infrastructure mentioned the importance of having a general and intermodal perspective.

– To reach Sweden’s overall objective, the lowest unemployment rate in EU, a better transport system that can drive economic development forward is needed. In order to achieve economic, social, and economic sustainability, we must work through an intermodal perspective. On the basis of the maritime strategy, statistics are developed and the responsibilities of different actors are reviewed. We also have the maritime sector in mind in the new research and innovation proposition, Erik Bromander said.

Anders Wijkman said that Sweden must take advantage of digitization opportunities for achieving environmental and climate goals.

– The transport sector must switch to biofuels, electrification, efficient engines and autonomous vehicles, Anders Wijkman said.

Global transport patterns and trends were described by Lars Green, CEO of Green Consulting.

– Ships becomes larger and even more fully loaded. A further trend is that growth subsides. We have had 30 years with over 10% growth per year but received a sudden drop from 2009 to 2011. 2012 and beyond, we see modest growth, Lars Green said.

Working with cost effective alliances is one of the solutions to the low growth identified by Lars Green.

– I think that the cooperation will be deepened, but not in terms of IT development, Lars Green said.

Niklas Nordström, Mayor of Luleå and Anders Teljebäck, Mayor of the City of Västerås, said that one problem is that ports perceive each other as competitors rather than partners and that facts are not updated and available.

– If you have two ports they could complement each other and join forces to become stronger. It is also important that transparency increases and that correct facts are made available so that you can make sure that taxpayers money are used for the best option. Something you should for instance consider is why it is a cost to run the ship out of the harbour but not to drive out of the city by truck, Anders Teljebäck said.

EU’s climate and environment policy clearly states that in order to reach its goals, more transportation needs to occur at sea rather than land. So, how can you work in order to achieve this? Jesper Kristensen on Unifeeder said the most important factor is costs.

– Costs are the reason for why a shift from land to sea will take place or not. Today, also some regulatory barriers to development exists and need to be solved. Environmental issues are only seen as added value for the customer and thus has no major impact on the development, Jesper Kristensen said.

Transport forecasts are often inaccurate. Hence, plans based on forecasts are often turned out to be wrong. 

– We need to stop being controlled by forecasts and instead be guided by goals. In the EU, 40% of all freight traffic are transported by short-sea shipping, but in Sweden the figure is only 7%. We have to analyse which ports that have the opportunity to compete and make shipping more visible to policy makers. We also need better comparable statistics to highlight the maritime sector as an option and continue to work with research and development, Christer Ljungberg, CEO at Trivector, said.

Lena Erixon, Director General of the Swedish Transport Agency, said that the shift towards increased transport at sea has been slow.

– Regulations and financial instruments have been one reason for the slow progress, but there may also be other factors, such as behaviours and ingrained traditions, Lena Erixon said.

– From an environmental perspective, it is clear that we need to transport more at sea, but a lot needs to happen in terms of fuels and energy efficiency. It is important to also consider the whole system and the flows. We see that there is great potential of coastal shipping, and you would have to dig deeper into this and identify which transport routes where shipping can have the most impact and what roles the state and other actors can play in order to better utilize shipping along these paths, Lena Erixon said.

Henrik Vourinen, CEO Port of Luleå, concluded the seminar by sending a message to the Swedish Traffic Committee.

– Maritime transport should be perceived as one of all transport modes and should be able to compete on equal terms. A mapping of the potential of the maritime sector should be commissioned by the government. Shipping is environmentally friendly, but we want to continue to improve and Sweden should be at the forefront of an international regulatory framework that encourages the use of clean ships, Henrik Voruinen concluded.

Lighthouse in meeting with the Swedish Energy Agency

This week Lighthouse together with representatives of the shipping sector met the Swedish Energy Agency.

Åsa Burman, Director of Lighthouse, what kind of meeting was this?
– At Lighthouse we meet various funding agencies and discuss the maritime sector. We have met the Swedish Energy Agency research and development department in the past and they have described how they support research and development activities with relevance to energy. Transport is an important area and in 2016 they will review the needs and opportunities within shipping and aviation. This was a follow-up meeting with participants from the shipping industry.

What did you talk about?
– Ship-owners representatives, Anders Thyberg from Wallenius and Per Stefenson, Stena, presented ship-owners activities, maritime challenges in the short and long term and what actions and technological development the shipping companies themselves provide. Carl Carlsson told about Zero Vision Tool and SweshipEnergy and the challenges they see.

What is the next step?
– The Swedish Energy Agency continues to gather knowledge of the maritime area and may in the short term improve the possibility of shipping-related research and development projects to seek future calls in already existing programs.
Our hope is that they in the future will launch maritime oriented call for applications and programs. The plan is also to meet again, in the same constellation, or with broader representation of the maritime industry.

The Swedish Energy Agency is subordinated to the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, and regulated by the Government. The Agency finances research for new and renewable energy technologies, smart grids, and vehicles and transport fuels of the future. The Agency supports commercialization and growth of energy related clean-tech.
The Agency also provides energy system analysis, energy forecasts and official energy statistics.

Routeing – the way towards energy efficient and environmental friendly shipping?

By improving routeing at sea there are several environmental benefits to be gained. That was the message from several researchers at a seminar about routeing organized by the World Maritime University and the Swedish Marine and Water Management.

“How can routeing improve the environment, why do we need improved routeing and how do we achieve it?” were some of the questions raised by the researchers and officials. Ship routeing is important for making sure that ships do not crash and creates predictable pathways.

– The problem with ocean governance is that the eco-system has no defined boundaries, the ocean does not structure itself on straight lines. For ship routeing also UN conventions about climate change and biodiversity need to be considered, Professor Larry Hildebrand, World Maritime University, said.  

Linus Hammar, Analyst at the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management showed that the most important thing for reducing pollution around coastal areas in California is regulations.

– The state tried to reduce ship collisions and emissions by asking captains to voluntary slow down in a certain area. However, this did not work. They then tried with creating incentives like tax reduction for ships travelling a slow speed. However, this did not entirely work either. It decreased emissions to some extent but was very costly. When creating a regional regulation, which prohibited ships to run on distilled oil, emissions finally were reduced, Linus Hammar said.

The California case also gave lessons for how to successfully apply a regulation to the IMO.

– The problem must be real. This might seem obvious, but for some it is not. It is also important that all national bodies come to an agreement, that the solution is effective and the there are collaboration between countries, Linus Hammar said.

Another important issue when it comes to routing is biodiversity and effects of for instance oil spills and underwater noise, which Kjell Larsson from Linneaus University spoke about.

Ulf Siwe from the Swedish Maritime Administration and project manager for the project Mona-Lisa spoke about Sea-Traffic Management (how you can benefit through guidance and monitoring of sea vessels).

– It is all about sharing. Real-time information has not been containerized and standardized – but it has the potential to become that.

Ulf Siwe meant that with sea-traffic management, improved safety such as increased operational awareness on bridges, deviations warning services and intended rout on exchanged can reduce the environmental impact as well as leading to fewer accidents.

– You can create seasonal “no-go” areas and reduce emissions. With route optimization services you also increase efficiency and enable just-in-time port arrivals and shorter turn-around times, Ulf Siwe said.

Text: Carolina Kihlström

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