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ZENER Effect – preparing for a future of sustainability

Working with agility and speed to keep abreast with evolving maritime technology and regulatory upheavals, must be front and center for a Shipping company, to validate a scalable business model. Under the theme ‘Future Proof Ships’, at an IMarEST UAE branch meeting, Zener Maritime Solutions showcased best in class creation of strategic roadmaps to address Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), the operational Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and Remote surveys which have provided flexibility for shipowners, with round-the-clock global coverage & improved efficiency through reduced travel times and increased expertise availability.

In his welcome narrative, NIKEEL IDNANI, emphasized that knowledge sharing is the bedrock of a progressive society and the IMarEST UAE branch, of which he is the Honorary Secretary, is the ‘town square’ where matters vital to the future of shipping are discussed, enjoying the highest level of support from the Middle East maritime community. Nikeel’s forthright, always informative – and sometimes controversial opinions, piqued the interest and perspectives of the audience, some of whom are engaged in shaping shipping’s evolution to becoming a low – and ultimately zero – GHG emissions industry. The IMarEST UAE branch has its finger on the pulse of the marine sector and their seminars offer unrivalled insights from a wide range of industry experts on contemporary marine engineering developments.


SANJEEV PANICKER, Business Development Director at Zener Maritime Solutions in his presentation described IMO’s decarbonization goals – to achieve 40% reduction of average carbon intensity by 2030 and 70% by 2050 and total GHG emissions to be reduced by 50% by 2050. Maintaining the status quo, will result in an unaccepted 20% increase of GHG by 2050. The hard truth is that current advancements/initiatives are not enough to meet the goal of Zero-carbon shipping. Sanjeev put regulatory compliance firmly under the spotlight and described the EEXI process leading to International Energy Efficiency certification (IEEC) and annual CII ratings from A to E which reflect actual emissions in ship operation. He went onto describing the factors that affect a ship’s fuel efficiency and present options to consider viz. switching to non-Carbon intensive alternative fuels, Carbon capture solutions or retrofitting with innovative Energy Efficient Technologies (EET). With the milestones of EEXI & CII fast approaching, asset owners are trying to determine sustainable solutions for their existing fleets to be compliant with regulations. Sanjeev underscored the reality of multiple, and sometimes confusing options perplexing ship owners. Zener Maritime Solutions structured approach assists selecting tailored solutions on the path to environmental sustainability.

Zener Maritime Solutions, Director of Technology – CHARAN SINGH, in his presentation Remote Connectivity & Inspection Systems spoke about the combination of traditional with new technologies of unmanned aerial vehicles (Drones) which pave the way for a more robust, safer and cost-effective environment. Remote surveys are a maturing reality and a practice that will go mainstream in cases where physical attendance does not add greater value than a remote survey whilst survey objectives continue to be met. Charan highlighted Zener’s Network Connectivity capabilities underpinning cost-effective solutions in data connectivity by boosting shore LTE network for seamless live streaming and data sharing covering the entire ship including intrinsically safe options. Externally powered Tether Drone technology enables unlimited flight time resulting in uninterrupted data flow and are safer with no risk of battery spark. The Gimbal stabilized camera yields improved video stream quality (4K resolution) and wide field of vision. A flexible inspection regime is possible in terms of saving time by performing drone inspection while the asset is in operation with minimal disruption. Drones reduce risks and costs associated with scaffolding/rope access for visual inspection purposes. Charan graphically exemplified a 3D virtual walkthrough in a digital twin of a ship, which is a low-cost high utility service containing a virtual database of information e.g. in which you can zoom into manufacturers labels, smart tagging at key locations, identify potential hazards and provide a knowledge sharing platform suitable for crew training and familiarization. Reality Capture can perform quick measurements for preliminary assessment of simple ship modifications to facilitate remote discussions. It obviates the need to go through thousands of photos by referring to this high-resolution photography capture.

To provide an opportunity for wider stakeholder engagement, Sanjeev Panicker, Charan Singh, Jagdeep JD Singh (Managing Director, Zener Maritime Solutions) & Chris Kirton (Managing Director, ITM) took to the stage, as a round-up of the key themes which were discussed in a highly interactive and insightful session with the 158 delegates. The immersive discussions resulted in the understanding that for those ship owners who are treading water in 2023 and beyond, while unprecedented challenges may continue to emerge, so will solutions. It is diligent to leverage on the exponential evolution of technology, to ensure compliant uninterrupted operations.

JD highlighted Zener Maritime Solutions commitment to the shipping industry which are imbibed in their guiding principles of developing win-win relationships with stakeholders based on standards that are above and beyond what are legally right, accepting nothing less than being the best in the maritime industry. His 400 employees strong company, which is a global leader in asset integrity solutions for the maritime and offshore industry, echoes the sentiment of a high-end luxury fashion house – Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, a philosophy which they believe is a reality and not just an ideal, for a future of sustainability. This thought process seemed appropriate within the luxurious Waldorf Astoria on Palm Jumeirah (part of the Hilton Group’s commitment to drive down environmental footprint 50% by 2030), one of Dubai’s most glamourous venues, where the evening appeared to have taken the form of a conscientious voyage towards the IMO 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Source: Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST)

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