As the shipping industry is making efforts to meet the IMO’s 2050 decarbonisation targets, shipowners and shipmanagers have to navigate various solutions for energy transition, from electric batteries for shoreline activity to a variety of fuels like LNG, methanol, LPG, and ethane as well as alternative fuels like ammonia, synthetic methane, and green hydrogen.
BunkerMetric, a Denmark-based digital technology firm, is working to assist operators and bunker buyers in finding the best bunker purchasing plan with its BunkerPlanner analytical tool.
Before setting up BunkerMetric, co-founder Christian Plum saw that the bunkering industry was underserved with analytical tools which could create transparency, lower costs and assist planners and buyers to make good decisions faster.
“The industry is always hungry for good cost savings, which is a good door-opener, but what we believe can help our tools stick with customers is how we can address some of the real pain points. How can I quickly adapt to changed market conditions? How can I reduce the risk of bad business practices and personal bias by adding more transparency to bunker purchasing and the supply chain? How can I make shipping greener and lower fuel costs by calculating the voyage execution?” Plum says.
BunkerMetric’s tools now focus on the existing fuel supply chains currently covering VLSFO, MGO and HFO, adding new fuel types such as LNG as their availability and market develops.
“We are keenly watching how this green fuel transition discussion is evolving and are preparing to support this in our operational tools,” Plum says.
Plum reckons in the longer run new carbon neutral fuels and engines will develop and become dominant, but currently the world’s fleet is geared towards carbon-based products and this fleet will only be slowly replaced over the next 30 years. Meanwhile, public opinion and more and more governments expect and will eventually demand a transition to greener fuels soon.
“Ultimately we will need to turn the current fleet of ships into green ships. It will be too costly to completely replace engines and storage tanks for new fuel types, so there is a need, at least transitionally, for fuels which are both green and, perhaps with minor modifications, can be carried and burned with storage tanks and engines predominant now,” Plum says, adding that it could be bio-fuels or power-to-liquid fuels with the right properties that can be transported with current bunker industry infrastructure and burned in currently used engines.
BunkerPlanner interfaces with data from relevant systems and also includes all auxiliary costs for a bunkering as port call costs, barge cost, deviation cost, opportunity / TC costs to calculate the overall cheapest port; and forecast the bunker consumption to decide on the right volume.
“By including all relevant costs, and calculating these against each other to find the best options, it gives transparency that you are buying the right amount, in the right place,” Plum claims.