Euronav teams up with Toqua to save fuel and cut emissions

Belgian tanker shipping major Euronav has teamed up with Toqua, a compatriot tech startup focusing on decarbonizing shipping using AI to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.

Illustration; Image credit Euronav

The collaboration began in 2020 when Euronav and Toqua explored how sensor data could improve ship performance models. After two trial projects, Euronav decided to roll out Toqua’s ship performance models named Ship Kernels to its entire fleet, with a fleetwide roll-out scheduled for completion in 2023.

“By incorporating Toqua’s advanced ship performance models, known as Ship Kernels, into a voyage optimization solution, the savings potential has increased more than twofold,” Toqua said.

Euronav’s focus on decarbonization led the company to look for operational optimizations that reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Ship performance models are crucial for such optimizations, particularly for weather routing, where the route and speed between two destinations are optimized. The better a performance model can estimate the impact of various factors, such as wave height, wind speed, and currents, on the speed-fuel relationship for a specific ship, the better the routing algorithm can optimize to minimize fuel consumption over a voyage.

Toqua said thatEuronav compared the optimization results using simple ship performance models with the optimization results using Toqua’s Ship Kernels.

This methodology was applied to a VLCC over 16 voyages, spanning 4 trades, in both directions, for different seasons. 

“Our study concluded Toqua’s Ship Kernels were able to double the fuel savings potential of weather routing, underlining the importance of having good ship performance models,” Euronav’s Senior Fleet Performance Analyst, Seb van den Berg, said.

No exact numbers have been shared, as a larger study is being conducted over the next few months. The aim is to validate the savings due to voyage optimization more accurately and to provide more specific figures.

Euronav said that in the study, the company implemented a controlled and conservative approach to only assess and present the fuel-saving potential. Actual savings may vary depending on the route, weather conditions, vessel performance, C/P limits, any other optimization settings, and human behavior. 

“Data-driven ship performance models utilizing high-frequency sensor data are an essential step toward the decarbonization of the shipping industry,” Patrick Declerck, Operations Manager at Euronav, said.