Energy at MSC: Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans

The following blog is part of an ongoing series on Military Sealift Command’s Energy Conservation program (ENCON), written by the MSC ENCON team. Advanced technology saves fuel on ships – so do more energy-efficient operating procedures. This week’s post focuses on Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans (SEEMPs), which implement a systematic management process for energy efficiency improvement on board MSC’s ships.

USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) transfers fuel to USS Gettysburg (CG 64)  (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jamie V. Cosby)

Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans create a systematic process for improving energy efficiency.  (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jamie V. Cosby)

MSC has been working on shipboard energy efficiency improvements for a few years now. So, on top of these efforts, why create a SEEMP? The SEEMP is a new requirement of the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention on Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). All ships over 400 gross tons must have a SEEMP on board in order to obtain the IMO’s new International Energy Efficiency Statement of Voluntary Compliance. At MSC we voluntarily comply with MARPOL and other international maritime conventions as a matter of policy. But beyond just seeking to comply with the regulatory requirement, MSC recognized that the SEEMP provides an opportunity to institutionalize a process of continuous energy efficiency improvement – something we need to help achieve fuel savings.

As part of this process, MSC is incorporating new energy-saving technologies and more efficient operating procedures, currently being identified, developed and validated, into SEEMPs. These SEEMPs are implemented for each MSC ship. A SEEMP is a ship-specific plan designed to continuously improve the energy efficiency of ship operations. The plan describes the approach for monitoring ship and fleet efficiency performance over time, sets efficiency goals, and identifies “efficiency measures,” which can be either technological upgrades – like an auxiliary boiler controls modification – or revised operating procedures – like an engine line-up optimization – to be employed on board to help achieve higher energy efficiency. Periodically the SEEMPs are reviewed and updated with improvements based on evaluation of energy performance and feedback from the fleet.

For government-operated ships crewed by civil service mariners, MSC developed the SEEMPs in-house. The overall SEEMP procedure applying to these ships was recently approved and is now part of MSC’s Safety Management System. Each class of government-operated vessels has also been issued an addendum through the system that describes the efficiency measures and goals that apply to vessels in that class. Variations between vessels within the same class are identified using a ship applicability matrix in the class addendum. For contractor-operated vessels, SEEMPs are the responsibility of the operating company.

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