SHIPPING

Goundar Eyes Solar Panels To Save Money

“The only way I can save fuel consumption is reducing speed while running our usual routes and making sure that the vessels are well maintained.”
30 Sep 2020 14:10
Goundar Eyes Solar Panels To Save Money
Goundar Shipping Limited vessels berthed at Port Mua-i-Walu 2 in Walu bay, Suva. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Biggest local shipping company Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) is looking at options to have solar panels installed on their eight inter-lsland vessels. The installing of solar panels on GSL vessels will reduce their fuel consumption says GSL managing director George Goundar. While plans on this investment are ongoing, Mr Goundar said the envisaged solar panels would reduce their electric consumption on diesel generators.

“The solar panels that we are looking for must be suitable to the environment that we are working on; seawater is corrosive.

“In getting started, I am looking at powering up some of my small ships with solar panels,” Mr Goundar said.

According to Mr Goundar his fleet consumes approximately $8 million worth of fuel annually.

“Fuel is almost 60 per cent of the company’s operating costs.

“The only way I can save fuel consumption is reducing speed while running our usual routes and making sure that the vessels are well maintained.

“With two of my vessels being more than 50- years-old, I have to make sure that we do not have any breakdowns,” he said.

Fuel demand and emissions

Fiji National University, Department of Physics, assistant professor Ravita Prasad recently published her PHD research work where she researched on ‘Fuel demand and emissions for maritime sector in Fiji.

Current status and low-carbon strategies have revealed that reducing fuel consumption in domestic shipping vessels was a challenging task.

“If sails were to be installed this would mean more ship crew members than on a normal diesel operated vessel. In addition, even new vessels brought into the country are second hand and the existing shipping vessels are at the end of their working life which mean that these vessels have poor fuel economy.

“One has to consider passenger and cargo loads. If sail is installed it would mean more crew members than on normal diesel operated vessels,” Ms Prasad stated.

“In addition, new vessels brought into the country are second hand vessels while the existing vessels are at the end of their working life which would mean that these vessels have poor fuel economy.

“The total energy demand for fossil fuel in Fiji maritime sector increases from 2.9(Petajoule ) PJ to 4.6 PJ from 2016 to 2040,” she said.

“Marine diesel oil is the major fuel while 20 per cent of the total fuel consumed is premix.

“A total of 60.6 million litres of diesel and 18.5 million litres of premix was consumed in 2016.

“Maritime fossil fuel consumption would increase to 97 and 30 million litres of diesel and premix respectively in 2040 with an annual activity growth rate of two per cent.”

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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