“Sustainability and cost reduction go hand in hand”
"We participate in CLINSH because we want to make our business more sustainable and because we are eager to know the measurement data," says Wiemer Hoekstra of Endeavour B.V. The Endeavour will be equipped with an FWE (fuel water emulsion) system.
Hoekstra's attention was drawn to CLINSH by the installer, who also provided such a system for another of the company’s vessels. "Our client required it. At that time, we took up the challenge of getting two ships within the CCR2 standards. That was a great success. We have achieved an 88% reduction in NOx emissions. That was above expectations. The ship was awarded a Green Award Gold.
"We anticipated that slow-running engines would go out, but our example shows that they can indeed perform within the standard," says Hoekstra proudly. "Indeed, with less fuel, the engine now delivers more power. Sustainability and cost reduction go hand in hand. In 2025, everyone must be CCR2 certified. Installing a new engine is not a solution. Removing a properly running engine to install a new one that meets the CCR standard is pure capital destruction. The investment costs are to high to be borne. And we showed that there is no need for it.”
In order to be able to make sustainability adjustments to a ship, financing is needed, Hoekstra says: "The payback period on an FWE system is 14 years. Grants and other forms of financing are necessary. Techniques such as catalysts are otherwise not affordable. And the banks? Hoekstra: "It would be good if banks would also finance relatively old ships and engines. If a ship is maintained properly, it lasts for a very long time. The banks need not be afraid of the value of the ship as collateral. Banks may prefer to finance new and therefore also more expensive ships, but for (starting) entrepreneurs the takeover of an existing ship is easier to bear.”
CLINSH is also interesting for Hoekstra because of the continuous measurements. The CLINSH skippers can view their own measurement data. "After personnel, fuel is the biggest cost item. Fuel savings are very easy to achieve. There are many possibilities. FWE is one way, but we now also have, for example, battery packs to replace the generator". Steering skills also play a role. The Hoekstra family transports salt from AkzoNobel in Hengelo to the Bayer factories in Leverkusen and Dormagen. They know the route like the back of their hand: "We know where and when to sail cleverly. The CLINSH measurement data is very important in this respect.“
Hoekstra's efforts bear fruit: "It is estimated that we save 3 to 4 percent of fuel with the FWE system alone. Fuel additives add another 5% fuel savings. Installing the battery pack also has had a major effect. Not only for us, but also in the broader context: to get 1 liter of gas oil in our tank, 2.2 liters of gas oil are needed to get it there; think of costs for extraction, transport and the like. We consume approximately 24,000 liters a year. If you don't need that anymore, that’s a considerable saving on costs and environmental impact.”
So Endeavour B.V. is working diligently on sustainability. What does Hoekstra expect from other parties? "In the Netherlands, 75% of all inland shipping companies are family businesses. That adds up to approximately 3150 independent companies. We estimate that sustainability is not really a matter of concern in most family businesses. Perhaps shippers should make more of a demand for greening. Certainly, the government also has a role to play. All kinds of requirements are being set for existing ships but in the end, the implementation date is postponed or the plan is even completely abandoned. People don't understand it anymore. The government must communicate more clearly about what is expected and when. In addition, the government plays a role in creating a clear overview of all greening possibilities and their effectiveness. All alternative techniques are now small islands: electric, FWE, LNG. We expect CLINSH to provide an overall picture.”
Finally, the question of what inland navigation will look like in 20 years' time. Hoekstra has to think for a moment: "In 20 years is too fast, but in the end we will sail autonomously. I'm almost sure of that.”