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Limassol maritime firm facilitating sustainable shipping practices

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'Group photo of representatives from ABS, Lemissoler and Research Institute (SDARI) in front of a model of the 65K DWT methanol-fueled Ultramax bulk carrier design that received approval in principle.'

In the European maritime arena, Cyprus plays a notable role in advancing sustainable shipping practices, with a focus on initiatives led by key industry player Lemissoler Navigation.

This exploration delves into the dynamics of environmental regulations, collaborative partnerships, and technological strides, offering insights into both Cyprus’ and Lemissoler’s contributions to steering the maritime industry toward greater sustainability.

Despite being considered a solid and self-sustaining pillar of the Cyprus economy with no need for state investments, Cyprus shipping stands out for its recognised contribution, receiving consistent support from the government.

One notable initiative demonstrating the government’s commitment to fostering a greener shipping industry is the implementation of a ‘discount’ on the Tonnage Tax System.

The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM), as part of the continuous monitoring of environmental developments, both at the international as well as European level and contributing to the effort of decarbonisation of shipping, has announced a new range of green incentives to reward vessels that demonstrate effective greenhouse emissions reductions. From January 2024, the annual tonnage tax will be reduced by up to 30 per cent for each vessel that demonstrates measures to reduce its environmental impact, ensuring shipowners are rewarded for their sustainable shipping efforts.

To reduce emissions, various parameters are considered, including the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) regulated under MARPOL ANNEX VI, the IMO Data Collection System (DCS) ensuring compliance for ships of 5,000 GT and above, and the Carbon Intensity Index (CII) categorising ships into Ratings A, B, C, D, and E. These parameters influence tonnage tax reductions based on criteria such as exceeding EEXI requirements, reducing fuel consumption, and achieving favourable CII ratings.

While these measures have a minor financial impact, they showcase Cyprus’ commitment to greener shipping. Cyprus plays a key role in research and innovation for new technologies, with some already commercialised. Its Shipping Industry holds significant influence in international maritime organisations like the IMO and regional associations like ECSA. Cyprus contributes to shaping regulatory frameworks like EU ETS and FuelEU under Fit for 55, collaborating closely with the Cyprus Maritime Administration.

Lemissoler Navigation’s Methanol-Fuelled Ultramax bulk carrier is a notable example of progress in the maritime industry, aligned with Cyprus’ pivotal role in the broader green transition and its strong ties to the European Union. The shipping sector, a cornerstone of the Cypriot economy, showcases a collaborative push for sustainable maritime practices that align with EU initiatives.

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Philippos Philis, Chairman and CEO of Lemissoler Navigation, emphasised in his opening speech at the 2023 European Shipping Summit that “European shipping is crucial for Europe’s energy, food, and supply chain security. With nearly 40 per cent of the global fleet and an annual contribution of EUR 54 billion to the European GDP, the sector is vital, employing two million individuals and 685,000 individuals onshore ensuring the smooth functioning of EU exports and energy imports.”

Despite uncertainty for shipowners, Philis notes, “Transitional and zero-emission technologies gaining approval in principle signal progress toward net-zero emissions by 2050.” Cyprus and European shipowners actively contribute to international efforts. The transformative journey in shipping calls for upskilling 800,000 seafarers by the mid-2030s.

Philis highlights collaborations for diversity and gender equality, saying, “Collaborations with industry leaders, educational institutions, and organisations committed to diversity and gender equality actively contribute to promoting an environment nurturing the growth and success of women and underrepresented groups in the shipping sector.”

In a vital move towards greening the maritime industry, Lemissoler Navigation has secured approval for the design of a groundbreaking Methanol-Fuelled Ultramax bulk carrier. This substantial stride aligns seamlessly with Lemissoler’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045, marking a shift in the landscape of sustainable shipping.

Methanol, emerging as a frontrunner in marine fuel, offers compelling environmental advantages. Its liquid state and biodegradable nature make it eco-friendly, seamlessly dissolving in water and undergoing rapid biodegradation. Methanol’s combustion significantly reduces exhaust emissions, encompassing carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particles. The ease of storage and handling near major ports further enhances its appeal.

What adds a sustainable dimension to this initiative is the advent of renewable or green methanol, produced from biomass or captured CO2 combined with green hydrogen. The statistics speak volumes, as studies indicate a staggering 93 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, a 99 per cent decrease in SOx emissions, and a substantial 60 per cent drop in NOx emissions by replacing heavy fuel oil with green methanol.

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Navigating environmental regulations: Lemissoler’s strategic approach

In line with its unwavering commitment to sustainability, Lemissoler Navigation prioritises compliance with global maritime environmental regulations. The company not only commits to continuous monitoring and adaptation to regulatory changes but also invests significantly in green technologies for emissions mitigation and enhanced fleet performance.

Taking a proactive stance, Lemissoler engages in strategic collaborations and innovative designs, exemplified by vessels like Lem59-SDARI and Lem65-SDARI. The Lem59-SDARI meets Phase 2 EEDI requirements and is poised for potential Phase 3 compliance with minor upgrades. The Lem65-SDARI design sets energy efficiency standards, with a daily fuel consumption 35 per cent less than a comparable BSI model vessel and 12 per cent more capacity intake.

Strategic collaborations extend to ABS’ ECO LINES initiative, where Lemissoler optimises vessel hulls through advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation technology. Partnerships with MASADA and Mitsubishi contribute to integrating electric cranes, achieving over 25 per cent fuel consumption efficiency during cargo operations.

Further enhancing efficiency, Lemissoler’s vessels feature high-efficiency MAN Kappel propellers and Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF), contributing to an overall improvement in propulsion efficiency. Embracing digitalisation, Lemissoler collaborates with KeelX Analytics, equipping vessels with advanced software for real-time fleet performance monitoring.

This integration facilitates high-frequency information flow from vessels to the office, encompassing real-time Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) analytics, AI-driven weather routing, and continuous optimisation for cost and emissions reduction.

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Driving environmental excellence through innovative solutions

Lemissoler Navigation’s dedication to environmental excellence is showcased through cutting-edge technologies implemented in their methanol-fuelled Ultramax bulk carrier. This commitment is evident in their strategic approach, involving substantial investments in expertise, time, and capital.

Utilising advanced techniques like Computer Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and ship model tank tests, they meticulously optimise water resistance as well as airflow and minimise water and air drag coefficients, ensuring efficiency throughout the ship’s structure.

To further enhance efficiency, they incorporate a high-efficiency propeller, complemented by a Propeller Boss Cap Fin (PBCF) to significantly reduce water drag post-propulsion. The inclusion of a Fan Duct in front of the propeller contributes to the overall optimisation of energy consumption.

In collaboration with MASADA and Mitsubishi, Lemissoler Navigation has developed fully electric cargo cranes. This innovation not only reduces cargo operation times but also minimises port stays, leading to lower emissions in port areas and surrounding communities.

Their comprehensive energy management strategy includes the adoption of low-energy LED lighting and Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) systems for efficient power consumption in various ship operations.

The Research and Development (R&D) department at Lemissoler Navigation plays a pivotal role in advancing these technologies and exploring innovative solutions. Their goal is not merely a commitment but an ethos, actively contributing to a greener future for the maritime industry by leading the charge towards sustainable practices.

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Fostering environmental awareness: Lemissoler’s crew training approach

Lemissoler Navigation prioritises crew training for environmental awareness and eco-friendly practices. A mandatory manual ensures consistent knowledge of energy efficiency and emissions reduction, supplemented by visits from the Health, Safety, and Environment Superintendent. Plans include a manual focused on technology and energy transition for decarbonisation efforts. Digital learning initiatives are also pursued to equip crew with maritime technologies and navigation skills.

Beyond merely imparting technical skills, the company actively cultivates an environmental culture among its crew members and invests in digital learning initiatives to equip its crew with the latest maritime technologies and skills necessary for confident navigation on the open seas.

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