Innovation

Efficient environmental protection

Protecting air and water against pollution is one of the most important corporate goals of the Beluga Group. Application of innovative technologies and responsible use of resources have top priority here. Numerous projects are evidence of this commitment to environmental protection.

Utilising wind energy 
At the beginning of 2008, the first freight carrier newbuilding in the world went into operation with a hybrid drive making use of engine-generated and wind energy. The multipurpose heavy-lift project carrier equipped with so-called SkySails technology utilises the wind as a source of energy that is abundantly available at sea. The 160-square-metre kite sail of the MV “Beluga SkySails” saves approximately 10 to 15 percent in fuel a year, a significant amount given a daily consumption of around 15.5 tons of heavy oil. If the system proves effective in practice, additional vessels will be equipped with SkySails.

Preventing hull fouling
The section of the hull covered by water is a stamping ground for algae and mussels. This fouling creates greater resistance, leading to higher fuel consumption. The Beluga Group tests biocide-free antifouling coatings as well as alternative methods for preventing fouling. The aim is to develop non-toxic compounds and achieve low-friction flow characteristics as far as possible and thus lower emission values based on reduced fuel consumption.

Optimising flow characteristics
The Beluga Group as a client has an influence on the shape and design of many newly built vessels. Here again the goal is to achieve the lowest possible resistance through optimised shaping of the hull.

Treating ballast water
Every time ballast water is taken in, various tiny creatures and microorganisms enter the ship’s tanks. In many ports around the world the water is additionally contaminated with harmful substances and toxic algae. Both disrupt the ecological balance when the tanks are emptied many thousands of miles later. If they have no natural enemies, for example, certain animals or plants can multiply explosively and thus displace native species. Comprehensive action plans, biosensors and ballast water treatment facilities on new vessels minimise these harmful influences.

Furthermore, the ships of the Beluga Group are equipped with ballast water management plans that give the crew instructions for replacement of ballast water. Although they are currently stipulated only in Brazil, the plans of all Beluga heavy-lift carriers will be certified by a recognised certification company (e.g. Germanischer Lloyd) in future.

Managing operations
Ship operation can be made considerably more efficient and environmentally friendly through modern management. The assigned routes and maintenance cycles of the carriers are controlled centrally so the respective characteristics of the vessels optimally match the order. Superfluous unscheduled voyages, such as to repair shipyards, can thus be avoided. The aim of the so-called MarLife project is to set up integrated lifecycle management for the maritime sector. The Beluga Group is actively involved in this regard together with the University of Bremen and the University of Rostock.

Please note as well Beluga’s great commitment to the

Opens external link in new windowMaritime Campus Elsfleth and the

Opens external link in new windowMaritime Research Centre in Elsfleth

 

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Utilising wind energy
Treating ballast water
Managing operations
 
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