During Blue INNOship more than 10% of the partners have been able to sign commercial contracts based on their activities in Blue INNOship.
Blue INNOship fact #12
|Goals and objectives|
The project introduces a new concept of a Ro-Ro (Roll-on-Roll-off) vessel designed in a catamaran-configuration for large-volume maritime transport of un-accompanied road trailers and other classes of rolling cargo.
The goal is to confirm the task to achieve a cost reduction of 50% per trailer and a CO2 emission reduction of 70% per trailer compared with large conventional Ro-Ro vessels in use today on a route of approx. 120 nautical miles.
The intention is to develop a business case that will enable an operator and/or investor to start negotiations with partners as well as with customers, ports, shipyards, and authorities.
OSK – ShipTech
Claus Kruse IVS
DTU Mechanical Engineering
|Outcome from the project|
The project introduces a new concept of a Ro-Ro vessel designed in a catamaran-configuration for large-volume maritime transport of un-accompanied road trailers and other classes of rolling cargo. The catamaran is loaded and discharged transversely on two decks via a linkspan along the entire length of the vessel.
The analysis and investigations have been based on two specific routes for the Trailer Cat. The markets have been investigated. Establishment of terminals and the challenges in access to the ports etc. have been investigated and, in that respect, we have identified the project to be viable.
The feasibility of the structural design and the hull form has been confirmed. Seakeeping and loads have been analysed by Bureau Veritas and a preliminary optimisation of the steel structure has been carried out to minimise building cost and fuel consumption.
A replacement of parts of the steel structure by alternative lightweight materials such as composite has been considered assuming a competitive weight reduction can be achieved.
The hull form has been developed by CFD analysis also with focus on the interference between the two hulls.
The required power for the propulsion and power supply has been analysed for the European operation profile and alternative configurations of the power system are being compared including hybrid solutions.
A principal design and cost estimate of the linkspan has been carried out and a principal layout of the terminal has been prepared. The loading and discharging operation has been analysed and the time for loading and discharging can be halved compared to a huge Ro-Ro vessel of traditional design.
For one of the routes (114NM long), we have compared the Trailer Cat service with a service based on traditional vessels of 3800 LM operating on HFO. The Trailer Cats are operating on LNG. The cost reduction per trailer has been estimated to 41% and the reduction in CO2 emission per trailer has been estimated to 72%.
A business case for each of the two potential routes has been developed.
|Reporting from the project|
How would you describe the results obtained in the project?
We have achieved satisfactory results. We have confirmed the goal of being able to achieve a CO2 emission reduction of 70% per trailer compared with large conventional vessel in use today on a route of approx. 120 nautical miles. We did not entirely reach the goal of achieving a cost reduction of 50% per trailer, but anyhow a reduction of 41%.
The slightly lower cost reduction level is primarily due to the significant fall in fuel prices in the market, which has reduced the economic advantage of the low fuel consumption. The feasibility of the project has been proven and there are no indications of technical showstoppers. A complete business case for each of the two potential routes has been developed.
How would you describe the process leading to these results?
The coordination between relatively many partners has not been without complications. The deadline for each activity has been difficult to keep, often due to excessive workloads at the partners. During the project we have continually adjusted the plans for the circumstances. It has also been necessary to transfer part of tasks from one partner to another.
Please summarize the key activities conducted in the project
Two potential routes have been selected and investigated regarding technical viability and the markets. A business case for each of the two routes has been developed.
The feasibility of the design of the vessel and linkspan have been investigated and an initial design has been carried out and optimised to estimate the fuel consumption, operations cost, and investments.
An efficient loading- and discharging system has been developed.
A risk analysis has been carried out for each of the two projects.
Were there any concerns about the projects outcome during the project and how did you overcome them?
The Trailer Cat is a completely new concept and consequently there has been many concerns. Following examples can be mentioned:
- The vessel is very wide to call at the ports. This has been clarified in cooperation with the port authorities for the ports in question.
- Will the markets accommodate such huge capacity? The market investigation indicates that the markets have growth potentials that will accommodate the system capacity.
- Will it be possible to turn the vessel around in 3 hours in the ports? This has been analyzed with positive results.
- The vessel structure will be relatively heavy which may have a negative influence on the fuel consumption. The feasibility studies have confirmed the heavy structure, but not as severe as feared, and certain potential for improvement has been identified.
- The hull form has a relatively high resistance. This has been optimized by CFD analysis and the results are satisfactory.
Which positive findings or news did your project disclose?
We have proven the feasibility of the Trailer Cat project and we have proven that a significant cost reduction can be achieved as well as an even more significant reduction in the emissions.
Why was the project worth the invested resources?
If we succeed to get an investor involved, there will be a huge business opportunity for the partners already involved in the project. In addition, some of the partners have improved their general experience in the Ro-Ro business.
What key learnings did you obtain through the project?
It was extremely difficult to stick to the time schedule. This is mainly because the project often came second in relation to urgent tasks. The relatively low rate paid by the Foundation has also had negative influence on this issue.
How was the cooperation between the partners?
The cooperation has been affected by the delayed delivery from some of the partners and by one partner leaving the project. We have succeeded to reduce the consequences by better defining each subtask. The student exam theses have been depending on when we got the interest from the students, making it necessary to make their task very independent of the work of the remaining partners. Nevertheless, DTU has solved some valuable tasks that have successfully been incorporated into the project.
What could have made the cooperation work better?
We have continually been working to improve the communication between the partners, but we were often challenged by the workload of the partners. We have only arranged two follow-up meetings in the 3 years period with all the partners participating. I doubt that more of these meetings would have had any substantial effect. However, a number of beneficial bilateral meetings and meetings between three partners have been arranged.
Did any partners not deliver as anticipated? And what did you do about it?
Macgregor has withdrawn from the project. We did not succeed in finding the right substitute and their tasks were transferred to OSK and DTU. CBS has not been able to establish any relevant theses work and their tasks were taken over by Transmar.
What could have made the project work better?
I am quite sure that, if we had been closer to an agreement with an investor, the situation would have been easier. In spite of our difficulties, we reached a satisfactory result.
Did you have to change scope or process during the process in order to finalize the project?
One partner has left the project and the participation from two other partners has been very limited for different reasons. This has required reorganisation. There have also been findings resulting in reprioritisations. As an example, at project start we had strong focus on the LNG. During the last years LNG has become more common and hence does not require any particular focus at this stage of the project.
|Presentations, articles and media coverage from the project|