Enhanced Environmental Management through Digitalisation
By Amit Sharma, Senior Principal Auditor | February 16, 2023
To achieve our company’s goal of reduced waste generation onboard vessels, we have embarked on the digitalization journey. Why is digitalisation required? It is necessary for creating an accurate database, which can be used to strategise our future actions for waste reduction. The best of intentions go to waste when not followed through with a robust plan of action.
MARPOL 73/78 has six annexes dealing with the different waste streams from the vessel. For monitoring and recording, our company is utilising the NAU platform not only for the mandatory EU (UK)- MRV/EEXI/EEDI /CII/ SEEMP (Under Marpol Annex VI) but also for tracking the MARPOL Annex I and V waste generated onboard the vessels. The precise data collected is utilised to formulate advance warnings/alerts for both the office and the vessel. Such alerts ensure that the waste situation does not get out of hand, leading to a pollution incident. Also, the quantum of waste generated on board is benchmarked against set KPIs, and the trend is shared with the fleet groups quarterly for further course correction.
Though MARPOL does not set a limit to the quantity of bilge water which can be processed through the Oily Water Separator (OWS) onboard the vessel during a voyage, we want to limit such bilge generation and strive towards minimal bilge discharge. One of the features of NAU is the seal log function. This function tracks all Thome’s seals fitted across different locations onboard, including the OWS overboard valve. In case a seal is left open for more than 24 hours, an alert is generated for both the vessel and office reminding them that the valve needs to be shut and secured, therefore controlling the amount of bilge water discharged through OWS.
Another initiative implemented on the NAU platform will soon be monitoring the management of refrigerant gases onboard and the discharge of Grey water treated sewage and Blackwater from designated holding tanks. Refrigerant gases pose a dual hazard to the environment, i.e. they cause the depletion of Earth’s ozone layer and are a greenhouse gas. Each refrigerant has an allocated ODP number (Ozone Depletion Potential number) and GWP number (Global Warming Potential number). In our company, we use refrigerants with zero ODP.