CalMac on target for 2% reduction of ferry fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions

West coast ferry operator, CalMac [Caledonian MacBrayne] is on track to meet its own target fo the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the CMAL fleet it leases.

CalMac’s target is a 2% cut, which equates to some 1,800 tonnes- equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 4,285,714 miles driven by an average passenger car, or 645 tonnes of waste sent to landfill.

Innovative, state-of-the-art fuel management systems have been fitted across the company’s entire large vessel fleet – the first ferry company in the UK to deploy this technology – as part of Project Ecoship, allowing both the master and chief engineer to make small adjustments in real time to reduce fuel consumption.

These minor tweaks, whilst not affecting the delivery of the timetabled services [although the age of many of the vessels arguably does], have shown encouraging results – making the company’s 2% reduction target looking achievable.

All of the fleet’s major vessels have the new emission control technology on board.

These larger units and their current routes are:

  • MV Caledonian Isles – Ardrossan-Brodick, Isle of Arran
  • MV Clansman – Oban-Coll-Tiree-Castlebay, Isle of Barra-Lochboisdale, South Uist
  • MV Hebrides – Uig, Isle of Skye-Tarbert, Isle of Harris-Lochmaddy, North Uist
  • MV Finlaggan – Kennacraig-Isle of Islay
  • MV Lord of the Isles – Mallaig-Lochboisdale, South Uist, Oban-Coll-Tiree-Castlebay, Isle of Barra-Lochboisdale, South Uist, Colonsay
  • MV Hebridean Isles – Kennacraig-Isle of Islay
  • MV Loch Seaforth – Ullapool-Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
  • MV Isle of Mull – Oban-Craignure, Isle of Mull
  • MV Isle of Lewis – Stornoway-Ullapool relief vessel
  • MV Isle of Arran – fleet relief vessel – currently Colonsay/Islay

During a routine crossing from Ardrossan to Brodick on the Isle of Arran, CalMac’s paymaster, Transport Minister, Derek Mackay [above photograph], clearly enjoying the introduction to the system from Chief Officer Stuart Griffin, said: ‘I am pleased to get a chance to see this state-of-the-art technology in action first hand.

‘It brings clear environmental benefits, cutting the carbon footprint in some of Scotland’s most striking coastlines and sensitive marine environments.’

The way this new system works has led to closer working between the bridge and the engineering crews.

It has also opened up collaborative dialogue across the fleet, with staff exchanging ideas and tips.

Speaking of the performance of the new kit, Drew Collier, CalMac’s Operations Director, says:’We are finding some encouraging results,” said . “While it is too early to reveal any kind of scientifically concrete data, the initial figures we are seeing, as well as the anecdotal feedback from the teams on board, are optimistic.

‘Our target is to make a two per cent reduction in our release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. At the moment, we are confident that we are on track to achieve this and, importantly, we now have the technology in place to make accurate measurement.

‘Whilst the effect of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and pollutants on air quality are well known, what is perhaps less known is that carbon dioxide is linked to acidification within our seas.

‘We are very keen to ensure that our ferries help to preserve Scotland’s marine environment in so far as possible and we are determined to work towards better and better solutions.’

Ocean acidification could have significant impact on both fisheries and sensitive marine life, causing damage not only to fish and shellfish stocks, but also to cold-water corals, like those found within the Mingulay Reef Complex in the Western Isles.

The first of CalMac’s ships to have a fuel management system fitted was MV Caledonian Isles and she has now been operating with it for some seven months. The company considers that it is still in a bedding-in phase, with on-going learning by the crew and software updates being made.

Installed at a cost of £450k, the 10 fuel management systems, produced by Royston Ltd, will, if the targets are met, pay for themselves within a single year.

No one can complain about that-and the added impact on developing teamwork on and between the vessels is a major corporate bonus.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • What a load of very expensive flannel; you could chop a third of CalMac’s emissions by shortening the legacy routes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    db March 16, 2016 8:35 pm Reply
  • There still seems to be considerable confusion in the mind of the public, (and FA) between Cal Mac,(the present service operator/contractor), and CMAL, who, on behalf of us all, owns the fleet and much of the estate of shore based assets.
    Surely it is unlikely that the operator, on the brink of potentially losing its contract, is going to throw half a mill at ships it doesn’t own?
    Seems to this old cynic, that it’s another case of not letting the facts get in the way of a good news story.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters analysis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Proudest Scot in the UK March 16, 2016 11:35 pm Reply
    • This was CalMac’s presentation of the situation – Fo Agyll emphasised the oe of SMAl.
      However, the situation is a fudgey mess between the two companies.Since both are state owned and effectively controlled by Transport Scotland, the extent to which the borders between their respective corporate territories often seems to us to be unhelpfully blurred.
      The fleet may be CMAL’s and leased to CalMac – but CMAL do not maintain or refit the ships of their fleet. That is CalMac’s responsibility for the duration of the leasing contact – and they are supposed to ‘return’ the fleet in good order.
      We would certainly have thought that adding new technology like this to the major units of the fleet should be the owner’s financial obligation and not that of the lessee. But CalMac have presented this as an initiative of their own – and talked of it as earning its cost in a year…
      We have inquired as to the finessing of this matter and will report back.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      newsroom March 17, 2016 12:02 am Reply
      • Thanks, that will be interesting.
        Perhaps you could ask them if the value of the claimed reduction of 2%, (which one presumes is a ratio relating to tonnage of fuel consumed) will be expunged by the increased tonnage of fuel consumed as a consequence of additional saI lings required to service RET timetables.
        It is not at all unusual for the lessee in a contract situation to be responsible for the maintenance of leased assets to the satisfaction of the lessor, and that return conditions apply re. the condition of the assets at the end of the lease term. However, it would be strange in the extreme if the lessee were to return the asset in a better condition than when the lease commenced. Interesting times!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        Proudest Scot in the UK March 17, 2016 1:01 am Reply
      • On the ‘Whose responsibility is what?’ issue, CalMac say: ‘Basically CalMac, under the terms of the contract, are responsible for fuel costs so anything we can do to them helps make the business more efficient.

        ‘The point being made about why would we invest coming to the end of the contract is a bit a of red herring.
        ‘Business initiatives of this scale are not implemented overnight this has been in the planning for several years.
        ‘Plus from an environmental point of view, this is simply a good thing to do.’

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        newsroom March 18, 2016 8:16 pm Reply

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