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Research Project

Technology Options for Environmental Impact Reduction in Shipping


Executive Summary

Clear Seas has commissioned Dillon Consulting Ltd. and the ABL Group Canada to conduct a study on selecting environmental impact reduction technologies for ships.

Environmentally friendly technologies enable the shipping industry to mitigate ship-source pollution, reduce fuel consumption, and reduce many of the environmental impacts of shipping. While the environmental benefits of including impact reduction technologies on ships are obvious, deciding how to choose between the many different technology options available is no simple task. Technology selection is not made in isolation or considering environmental performance alone; factors like vessel type, age, routing, potential for retrofit, technology maturity, policy incentives and cost may all influence technology selection.

The objectives of this research are to better understand what current and emerging environmental impact reduction technologies are available and how decisions are made when selecting which technologies to include on ships. The project will produce an inventory of the different types of technology options being considered, as well as ways to assess their relative contribution to improved environmental performance of ships.

The outcomes of this work will help to clarify the decision-making context for the selection of impact reduction technologies to include on vessels–what decisions are being made, what factors are being considered, and when decisions are made throughout the ship concept design, build, and retrofit processes.

The project results will inform the design of a larger decision-support framework being developed through the Pathways to Zero-Impact Shipping project, a multi-year research collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the University of British Columbia (UBC).