Requirements for hydrodynamic-efficiency, EEXI compliance analysis, energy storage, shore-charging, fuel cells and alternative fuels suggest something like a perfect storm of demand for ship sustainability experts, but what is needed is clarity of vision, according to Trevor Small of Foreship LLC.
Manager of Global Sustainable Technologies at Foreship’s Seattle office, Small is at the heart of Foreship’s growth plans for Canada and the United States, as the leading naval architecture and marine engineering company balances client needs to stay well ahead on compliance and secure ROI.
Raised social awareness of environmental issues in Canada in particular is being reflected directly in growing demand for ships designed and built first and foremost for sustainability, says Small.
“The adoption of more eco-friendly solutions is gathering pace but, whether that is encouraged by regulation, public expectation or even financial incentive, ultimately the technology must also be fit for purpose,” he observes. Foreship will continue to research and test the alternatives so that owners and operators can future-proof their vessels, says Small.
The consultancy is involved in several projects along the west coast of Canada and the US to evaluate different sustainable ship power solutions – including biofuels, batteries and shore connections. One even covers a full appraisal of options for an owner working with a regional shipyard.
But Small is also aware that, however “inevitable”, the adoption of more sustainable design and engineering solutions for ships must involve careful assessment.
“Some will first have to overcome their hesitancy to deploy unfamiliar technologies,” he says. “The key to this involves learning the cost-to-benefit ratio of different solutions, but also understanding how, why and when their deployment fits with regulatory obligations.”
Small is a member of a Foreship engineering team whose broad knowledge includes specific experience and expertise in marinizing energy storage solutions. In 2008, he founded Global Battery Solutions Ltd. in Vancouver to help high-growth companies in the energy storage and e-transportation segment devise and execute sales, marketing and distribution initiatives. He has specialized in maritime energy storage ever since, leading the business development of various energy storage companies and collaborating with renowned electrical integrators on zero-emissions and hybrid commercial marine solutions.
With an MBA in Global Business Management & Finance from Waseda University, Tokyo, Small also brings to his position the entrepreneurial mindset to feed into his passion for identifying, seizing and commercializing local and global opportunities.
The North American shipping market has often been a front runner in the development of sustainable technologies, but it has rarely led the way in their implementation, he acknowledges.
“But this is now changing, which means that part of Foreship’s focus is also to assist marine-focused sustainable technology companies with the fine detail of marinizing their solutions for different vessel segments while also complying with classification requirements.”
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