Image courtesy Norden

Image courtesy Norden

Nord Integrity Captain Cut the Power and Drifted for Days to Save Fuel

By Isaac Arnsdo

(Bloomberg) — A tanker owned by D/S Norden A/S, Europe’s biggest commodity-shipping company, saved $17,000 by stopping its main engine for three to four days as the merchant fleet copes with rising fuel costs by cutting speeds.

The Nord Integrity, a 47,400-ton ship hauling refined fuels, sailed by wind and current alone on its way to load in Algeria after refueling in the Canary Islands, Hellerup, Denmark-based Norden said in a company newsletter e-mailed today. Drifting for 280 nautical miles (518 kilometers) saved 27 metric tons of fuel valued at $17,064, according to the report. The ship arrived on time.

Owners across the industry are slowing down ships to save on fuel costs, which doubled in the past decade to account for about 75 percent of average expenses, according to the Baltic and InternationalMaritime Council, the largest trade group. Norden spent $651 million on fuel in 2012, equal to 67 percent of its voyage costs, according to the newsletter.

“Owners are trying everything because one ton saved a day is $600 on your bottom line,” said Truls Dahl, a shipbroker at Fearnleys A/S in Oslo who has worked in the industry for about 30 years. “It’s adventurous and interesting and a very good idea,” Dahl said, adding that he’s never seen this done before in his career.

The voyage complied with safety regulations, and a ship wouldn’t turn off its engine while carrying a cargo, Jens Malund Jensen, head of Norden’s product tanker operations, said in the newsletter. To make such sailing possible, wind and currents must move in the right direction and a vessel must have enough time and space to move safely, according to the report.

Ship fuel, known as bunkers, rose 2.2 percent this year to $626.07 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Last year’s average of $664 in Singapore, the largest refueling port, was the highest since at least 2002.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.
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  • Velu

    Get those sails back on the ships!

  • Chuck Lantz

    Need sails on ships to save fuel? How about para-sails? A guy I met a few years ago named Dave Culp has designed huge para-sails, sort of like the ones used by kite surfers. Maybe he was ahead of his time.

  • Capt Rhan

    The US needs to allow for more hemp fiber products. So manufacturing sails that do not require oil based fibers for the return of sails on large ships. This is a must have for future travel as some are using on other wind powered items.
    It’s our past as well as for future renewable.

  • CAPT Jeff

    I really do not understand the intent of this news bulletin. Is the general public so ignorant of this practice that it rates a headline?

    Write this down–Drifting with the engine stopped is a very common practice when ahead of schedule or awaiting berth!

    Says a lot in regard to the ignorance of people in maritime matters.

    • http://NONE PAUL

      Hey… Captain “Dufuss”… The overwhelming majority of the public is absolutely cluelessw when it comes to most maritime issues. That’s because they are not involved. So before you belittle the public..Douche Bag… sit back and use what little brain cells you have to survey the situation…schmuck…

  • Voice of Reason

    As a mariner (now working shore-side), I’m ashamed to see the last two comments in print. You both reflect badly on our industry. Take a deep breath and remember the world is going see what you just posted! And take the the time to read the entire article!!!
    The vessel drifted three to four days for a distance of 280 NM. For argument’s sake, lets call it 3.5 days. This means the ship traveled approximately 3.3 knots during the transit. (A little bit of flexibility in that schedule!) The Master is pretty damn clever (and experienced) in my book. You would have study the Atlas of Pilot Charts to ensure that the prevailing winds and currents would allow you to carry this off. It’s an easy presumption that the Master has extensive experience with this route as well.
    I doff my hat to the Master of the NORD INTEGRITY. It’s rare these days to see that sort of initiative and ingenuity. Congratulations Sir!

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