A 100-million-tonne reduction in annual CO2 emissions, by making more efficient use of fuel in the shipping sector. If it’s up to We4Sea’s Dan Veen and Michiel Katgert, in four years time this dream will be a reality. And all thanks to a few minor adaptations to existing ships. The start-up firm has developed a smart tool that can be used to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by sea-going vessels.
We4Sea makes use of existing equipment that can already be found on board, like the voyage data recorder (VDR) and sensors. A ship’s fuel efficiency is measured with the aid of the data generated by these devices. After receiving this data, We4Sea uses simulation software to determine what the effect of certain adjustments will be on the vessel’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Examples include installing a new propeller and adjusting the ship’s speed.
100 million tonnes of CO2
The company intends to monitor 500 ships by 2019. This will allow We4Sea to reduce CO2 emissions by 100 million tonnes per year. This is equivalent to the emissions of some 12.5 million Dutch households (an average household in the Netherlands is responsible for around eight tonnes of CO2 emissions per year according to the data published by Milieu Centraal).
Port Innovation Lab
To study the potential of their idea, last year Veen and Katgert took part in the LaunchLab programme, organised by the Port Innovation Lab. This partnership between YES!Delft and the Port of Rotterdam Authority helps port-related start-ups to get their ideas off the ground. Among other things, the Port Innovation Lab offers coaching, test facilities and access to a network of possible launching customers and investors.
“As LaunchLab participants, we were expected to talk with as many potential clients as possible. These talks proved important when it came to confirming what we already suspected: fuel efficiency is a real problem, and companies have no idea how they can tackle it,” said Katgert. “We learned how we can position our tool within the market and who our clients are. And after going on to win the LaunchLab, we knew for sure we were on to something,” added Veen.
We4Sea is on the right track. The firm has moved up to YES!Delft’s Incubation programme. We4Sea is currently compiling the initial data of its ‘launching customer’ Flinter, a major milestone for the fledgling company. But even before this demonstration has been rounded off (which is expected to be in October 2016), two major players in the sector have already committed to We4Sea’s tool.