Tackling the grand challenge of our time

Throughout 2021, both internal and external pressure built on shipping around the key issue of decarbonization.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and COP26 were red flags for the world, showing that immediate action was needed. At the same time, there was renewed vigour in the newbuilding market, with a notable increase in the number of vessels ordered with alternative fuel systems. 

Measured in gross tonnage, DNV won a market share of 30% of all newbuilds ordered in 2021. 

At DNV, we worked to ensure that the focus on safety was not lost even in the midst of a transformative period for the industry. New DNV rules and reports put the challenges of new fuels and technologies in the spotlight to empower our customers to make tough decisions and help them turn uncertainty into confidence.

Handbook for hydrogen-fuelled vessels

The MarHySafe joint development project brought together a consortium of 26 leading companies and associations, led by DNV, to launch the Handbook for Hydrogen-fuelled Vessels to address the uncertainties surrounding hydrogen as a ship fuel. 

This handbook offers a roadmap towards safe hydrogen operations using proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). It details how to navigate the complex design and construction requirements, and covers the most important aspects of hydrogen operations, such as safety and risk mitigation, engineering details for hydrogen systems, and implementation phases for maritime applications. 

Phase II of MarHySafe will include pre-calculated risk assessments and experimental testing, as well as more work on hydrogen bunkering and input towards standardization.

Green finance for green vessels

DNV supported Hapag-Lloyd in obtaining financing for six of its highly efficient containership newbuildings in accordance with the Green Loan Principles of the Loan Market Association (LMA). DNV verified that the transactions fulfilled the programme’s requirements. Hapag-Lloyd concluded two debut transactions in accordance with these Green Loan Principles, and DNV provided a second-party opinion to confirm compliance with the requirements as an independent expert. 

The transactions are associated with the financing of six ultra-large 23,500 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ships ordered in December 2020. As a result of the extremely efficient high-pressure liquefied natural gas (LNG) dual-fuel engines, the six newbuildings’ CO2 emissions will be approximately 15 to 25% lower than those of a comparable conventionally fuelled vessel.

Launching the Maritime Technologies Forum

DNV joined forces with leading flag states and classification societies to launch the Maritime Technologies Forum (MTF). The MTF provides technical and regulatory research, expertise, and leadership to assist the shipping sector and its regulators in addressing technology challenges. 

The regulatory framework for the development and use of new technology in shipping must remain up to date to ensure the safety of people, assets, and the environment. By bringing together expertise to offer guidance and advice on technical and regulatory challenges, the MTF will help the shipping industry and International Maritime Organization (IMO) to navigate and embrace the impact of these changes.

New fuels, new flexibility

Throughout 2021, DNV released many updates to its rules for ship classification designed to enable the maritime industry to tackle the decarbonization challenge.

DNV also announced Fuel Ready, a class notation offering shipowners the option to prepare for a later conversion to multiple alternative fuel options, and Gas Fuelled Ammonia, a notation for ammonia fuelled vessels, to allow owners to stay ahead of shipping’s ever tightening carbon reduction requirements.

Compliance Planner tool

As both the number and complexity of international shipping regulations continue to grow, navigating timelines and requirements has become an increasing burden on ship owners and operators. To simplify this, DNV launched Compliance Planner – a new digital tool enabling customers to easily track legislative requirements and deadlines for both individual vessels and entire fleets. 

This is the first time a classification society has put together this information in a simple and accessible way. The tool also automatically shows an owner or operator the regulations affecting its fleet and when.

Targeting seafarer well-being

In response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on seafarers, DNV established a separate audit protocol addressing challenges to crew health and well-being, and instructed our safety management auditors to specifically address seafarer health, work, and living conditions in their audits. The protocol is grounded in the International Safety Management Code (ISM) and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) of 2006. 

The overall objective of these regulations is to ensure safety at sea by requiring companies to provide, among other things, a safe working environment through assessing all identified risks to ships and personnel, and establishing appropriate safeguards. 

DNV has recently revamped our Maritime Management Systems audits around the fit-for-purpose concept, according to which auditors assess the effectiveness of management systems.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions on offshore installations

The new Abate class notation is designed to assist owners and operators of offshore floating installations to identify and implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Altera Infrastructure is the first Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit owner to pilot the DNV notation on the Petrojarl Knarr FPSO, with successful results so far. 

The Abate notation provides a structured approach to identify and assess the implementation of abatement measures, in order to enable measurable reductions in an installation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Primarily developed to cover offshore oil and gas installations, the general principles can also be applied to other floating offshore installations. Abate is a voluntary and modular notation, comprising a management aspect and several qualifiers that address different areas of application for abatement measures.