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1965 built, US flagged steamship Pacific Tracker lays at the ready in Portland Oregon, picture by Martin Leduc

How You Can Save Money by Adhering to SEEMP Regulations

Authored by Tom Bowers
December 2013


At the 62nd session of the International Maritime Organization�s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which was held from the 11th to the 15th of July, 2011, the attendees moved to adopt the SEEMP.

The SEEMP (the acronym stands for Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan) became mandatory on the 1st January 2013, meaning that for any vessels having their first renewal or intermediary survey after this date, the SEEMP must have been both prepared and implemented successfully on board.

But what does the SEEMP involve, and what sort of benefits can it offer you?

What Is Involved in Adhering to SEEMP Regulations?

First of all, you should know that the SEEMP is similar to the EEDI, except for the fact that the latter (the Energy Efficiency Design Index) applies only to new ships.

The SEEMP is a method of monitoring a ship's efficiency over time, encouraging the ship owner to think about new practices or technologies which could assist in further optimising the ship's performance.

Although it will not be subject to approval by flag states, it is required under the International Energy Efficiency Certificate, of which Regulation 22 states that "each ship shall keep on board a ship-specific Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan".

How You Can Best Adhere to the New Regulations

To develop an effective Management Plan, you should focus your attention onto three key areas; these areas are Planning, Implementation, and Monitoring.

When planning, keep in mind both ship-specific and company-specific measures, and set some achievable targets to keep your sights on. Reference company processes, and try to set a timeline for when different measures will be put into play.

Establish a "system" to allow each of your measures to roll out successfully and on time. This system can involve processes, tools, and record-keeping - set up a communication plan to identify who is responsible at each stage of the process.

Once your new processes are in place, you will need to monitor your progress. You'll want a self-evaluation that gives both a quantitative and a qualitative review of your processes' performance.

Over time, you may find that your goals change, or that something is not working quite as effectively as you'd imagined. In order to keep things in check, you should make sure to regularly evaluate on your performance, making improvements whenever necessary.

How Implementing an SEEMP Can Save You Money

Making it a legal requirement to have this Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (or, for owners of many vessels, the Fleet Energy Efficiency Management Plan [FEEMP]) drawn up and implemented on your vessel might seem like an unnecessary hassle, but doing so can actually save you a significant amount of money.

Esa Henttinen, the Vice President of Business Development at NAPA Group, the ship design and operation software company, had this to say: by "utilising electronic SEEMP and modern software solutions, savings of as much as 20 per cent can be achieved."

These savings come primarily in the form of increased efficiency � fuel is a remarkably expensive commodity, so using any amount less of it in your everyday operations is going to bring significant savings.

In a webinar dated 29th November, 2012, Tommi Kauppinen, the General Manager for Wartsila Optimisers, stated that fuel savings of up to 9 per cent can be made, simply through optimising the trim, rudder, stabiliser and vessel speed. This combination of optimisations works much better as one than on individual merits, and the benefits only continue to increase when paired with planning measures such as weather routing, or other technology upgrades like modernised marine air compressors.

A recent modification based around the propeller resulted in fuel savings of roughly 9.5%, when looked at over a period of 2000 running hours. This could see a good return on your investment in less than a year, and opens up the possibility of enormous savings.

Instead of seeing the SEEMP as an added complication, you should view it as encouragement to help you reach new heights of efficiency, working towards lowering your operating costs.

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