International collaboration aims to launch eco-friendly ships

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Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Sembcorp Marine, Glasgow University and University of Glasgow Singapore (UGS) are to collaborate on new hull designs for large ocean-going vessels. 

Under the three-year memorandum of understanding, A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), Sembcorp Marine, Glasgow University and UGS will use computational modelling and visualisation technologies to design vessels with improved hydrodynamics for better fuel efficiency.

In addition, they will investigate features to reduce exhaust emissions and discharges by enhancing the vessel’s scrubber and ballast treatment services. Currently, maritime transport carries about 90 per cent of all international trade and accounts for three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the research collaboration, Sembcorp Marine and IHPC will analyse and improve gas abatement technology, using an enhanced scrubber design to address the emission of harmful gases like sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrous oxides (NOx), particulate matter and greenhouse gases, in particular CO2, from the ship’s heavy fossil fuel burning combustion engines.

Such designs and technology are also needed to meet the International Maritime Organisation’s new 2015 standards on ship-related air pollutants and marine environmental issues. 

In a statement, Prof Alfred Huan, executive director of A*STAR’s IHPC said: ‘By harnessing the power of computational modelling and simulations, we help shipbuilders optimise design to improve efficiency and environmental sustainability of large commercial vessels.

’This can significantly impact upon the way ships are built and accelerate the advancement of more fuel-efficient and greener vessels.’