Engine Room Senior officer Deck Senior Officer

Code No: 741

Video Running Time: 18 minutes


The cost of fuel has always provided an incentive for ship operators to try and ensure that the vessel's engines are run efficiently. Nowadays, there is an additional incentive that affects not just those in shipping. There is little doubt that global warming is affecting the climate and, if not checked, could mean that in forty years time large areas of the earth's surface will change dramatically. Our children's world could look very different to ours.

It has been estimated that the world's merchant fleets contribute almost 2% annually of the so-called ‘greenhouse gases’ and other emissions that are affecting the climate. That's equivalent to the annual output of an economy about the size of France or the UK. So the actions of ship operators and seafarers can play a significant role. There are practical measures that seafarers can take to avoid unnecessary waste and reduce energy consumption and this training package, comprising a video and supporting booklet, looks at some of them. A shipping company should have a clear energy saving plan, promoted in consultation with the crew; the performance should be monitored and the results given to crew members. Fleet wide performance results monitored by the company's head office can also help motivate crews to take the subject seriously.

A key area is voyage planning, which should try to achieve an optimum level of fuel consumption by maintaining constant speeds and avoiding large or rapid course changes. Berth availability may mean the ship does not always need to proceed at full speed.

Careful engine maintenance, checking fuel quality, use of minimum ballast required to meet safety requirements, careful planning of cargo operations, use of a second generator only when essential, switching off lighting and other equipment such as supply and exhaust fans when not required. These are just some of the measures that can and should be taken to ensure that energy on board is saved. Efforts such as these will not only result in more economic operation but will have a beneficial effect on our environment.