Fuel saving in coastal areas

01/25/2017 - 11:00-01/25/2017 - 12:15
Sasakawa Auditorium


Karina Hjelmervik
(University College of Southeast Norway)
Svend Nordby
(University College of Southeast Norway)


Karina Hjelmervik

Fossil fuel is an essential cost in ship operations and has a large impact on the environment. Maritime transport emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Smith et al. 2014). It is therefore important to focus on fuel saving and environmental emission reduction. Smart ship owners today are using weather routing to save fuel and reduce emissions.

The effect on fuel saving using weather routing can be considerable on long passages. In coastal areas, navigation is limited by traffic rules. In this study, we have investigated whether fuel consumption can be reduced on a relatively short voyage in the Oslofjord, Norway. The study is conducted in an advanced bridge simulator where different current fields from a high-resolution ocean model are implemented.

The results reveal that if the voyage is conducted on a typical co-current field instead of a typical counter current the travel time will be reduced with 12% for a typical vessel with speed through water set to 16.7 knots. On co-currents the vessel speed can be reduced to 15.7 knots and complete the voyage within the same time as if no currents are present. This implies approximately 15% reduction in fuel consumption for the vessel tested. The results also reveal that fuel consumption can be reduced if the vessel is operated within favourable currents inside the traffic separation zone.


  • Smith et al. (June 2014), Third IMO GHG Study 2014; International Maritime Organization (IMO), London, UK