WMU and CHEK Consortium Partners Initiate Project on Decarbonizing Long Distance Shipping

The kick-off meeting for the EU funded Horizon 2020 research project, CHEK - deCarbonizing sHipping by Enabling Key technology symbiosis on real vessel concept designs, took place digitally from 3 to 4 June 2021. Over 50 participants from the CHEK consortium consisting of the University of Vaasa (coordinator), WMU, Wärtsilä, Cargill, MSC Cruises, Lloyds Register, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, Climeon, and BAR Technologies, participated in the event.

Decarbonizing long-distance shipping is the aim of the Initial IMO Strategy to fully phase out greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping before the end of this century. The CHEK kick-off meeting took place one week before the IMO MEPC 76, which expects to adopt combined technical and operational short-term measures aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. It is expected that these measures will enter into force in 2023.

At the kick-off meeting, the CHEK partners initiated the project actions to be undertaken aimed at demonstrating a combination of innovative ship design and technologies operating in symbiosis. Sail power, hydrogen propulsion, waste heat recovery, battery electric power, hull air lubrication, innovative anti-fouling technology and digital operational improvements, will be used in combination to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 99%, achieve at least 50% energy savings and reduce black carbon emissions by over 95%. The technologies will be demonstrated at full scale with two, first-of-their-kind vessel concept designs (Kamsarmax bulk carrier and Meraviglia class cruise ship) based on real operational profiles.

Dr. Aykut I. Ölçer, WMU Professor and Director of Research, made a presentation about WMU and its research activities. WMU Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator for the project, Dr. Alessandro Schönborn, led the discussion on WMU’s contribution and involvement in the CHEK project and Dr. Anastasia Christodoulou, WMU Research Associate, focused on the planned dissemination, exploitation and communication activities of the project.

WMU’s role in the project will be to communicate the project results and disseminate them amongst stakeholders and policy makers. WMU is also responsible for conducting life-cycle assessments of the various technologies and to compare potential greenhouse gas emissions savings.

Participation in the project supports WMU’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 7 focused on affordable and clean energy for all and Goal 13 focused on climate action. The maritime research portfolio of WMU, in particular the MEM research stream, is further boosted and strengthened with CHEK.

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