Taking holistic approach to accelerate decarbonization journey

With the prominence to operate sustainably in maritime industries comes competition to formulate the most efficient and effective solutions. The sustainability benefits of digitalization are well-known but not all produce optimal results which match the bespoke needs of companies. 

For Accelleron, a company headquartered in Switzerland which provides turbocharging technologies and optimization solutions for diesel and gas engines, it began from the ground up to address foundational pain points instead of rushing a symptomatic approach. Cristian Corotto, president of the Digital Division at Accelleron, said “the first step towards sustainable operations is identifying areas of inefficiency.” 

Corotto added: “Inefficiencies can manifest themselves in various forms, including wasted resources, loss of time, unproductive processes, missed opportunities, delayed reactions, confused governance mechanisms, and poor decision-making.” 

All these added up to a larger issue at hand and Accelleron’s research and development (R&D) efforts needed to be acute. “Our ability to analyze, assess, process, and evaluate standardized and reliable data allows us to support our customers’ decision-making processes in a straightforward and concrete manner to reduce their inefficiencies,” explained Corotto. 

This birthed Tekomar XPERT marine technology, focusing on three different modules: Engines, Emissions, and Hull & Propeller. “By evaluating deviations and quantifying potential fuel oil savings, Tekomar XPERT delivers accurate advice that mitigates high fuel costs and reduces the environmental footprint of ship owners and operators,” he said. 

The technology enables customers to bridge the gap between potential and actual performance, helping to ensure the integrity of the vessel and engine, as well as reporting and forecasting Carbon Intensity Indicators (CII). 

“For example, Tekomar XPERT provides faster access to data which could prove critical when it comes to meeting the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS) targets, where shipping will be included in 2024.”

On September 26, 2023, Tekomar XPERT was newly implemented on all eight vessels of Starlite Ferries Inc., a shipping company in the Philippines, which serves a daily traffic of around 10,000 passengers and more than 1,500 vehicles. In addition, Accelleron signed a new three-year agreement to deliver turbocharger services to the passenger ferry operator.

However, with increased digitalization, concerns over privacy and data protection grow as risks rise positively with technology. Accelleron fortified its security by building it soundly on “ABB’s heritage of high standards, developing cybersecurity principles to ensure customers’ privacy” since October 2022. ABB is the global technology leader in electrification and automation.

“Data is the world’s most valuable resource and, as such, has always been safeguarded and protected with the utmost care,” said Corotto. 

What about foreseeable challenges for the maritime industry? When asked how Accelleron is future-proofing itself and its clients, he stated that there is a need to transform its business model towards a circular economy approach that supports trade while protecting the environment, people and economic growth.

“The IMO decarbonization agenda will lead to a much greater focus on low emissions and fuel efficiency, for both environmental and cost reasons,” said Corotto. According to Accelleron’s survey on e-fuels, it showed that 93 percent of decision-makers in the marine industry expect e-fuels to be ubiquitous by 2050, but the large majority expect them to be more expensive than fossil fuels. 

Corotto said: “The need for data and smart solutions to achieve this efficiency has therefore never been more crucial for shipping companies.” 

Despite this, Corotto’s view remains optimistic. He felt the industry is moving in the right direction, with many shipping companies revolutionizing the way they operate. “We see and hear from more than 120 customers who are in continuous transformation; they are seeing the advantage of using data that allows them to do more and better,” he added. 

“I am positive that this transformation will continue, and we are happy to enable it.”

Photo credit: Accelleron. Cristian Corotto, president of the Digital Division at Accelleron.

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