SYI London 2020: Greener pastures


(Photo by Ben Hoskins)

The words ‘sustainable’ and ‘superyachts’ are generally not associated with one and other. When someone puts down hundreds of millions for a 100m, diesel-guzzling floating luxury hotel, chances are they are not thinking too much about the environmental impact. But things are changing, and sustainability is becoming a key driver behind technological development in the market.

Simon Brealey, principle mechanical engineer at Lateral Naval Architects, took the stage at Superyacht Investor 2020 with this to say: “The future is zero.”

This means zero carbon and zero emissions, a lofty goal for the superyacht market, but an increasingly important one that is driving the industry the world over. The zero emissions goal is one that Brealey thinks we should work together – and with fellow maritime markets – to achieve.

Technological advancements certainly help, with long term technical improvements to superyachts able to cut up to 20% of a yachts emissions, according to Brealey.

Challenging design and operational paradigms can cut up to 30%. This has been proven recently with S/Y Oceanco, a 110m which boasts a similar gross tonnage to a 90m superyacht. This minimises the power required to operate and gives a 30% efficiency boost.

But the real opportunity is in alternative fuels, which could potentially cut up to 100% of carbon emissions.

‘Maritime industry push’

Alternative fuels exist in the market now but are not the most popular option. However, this could change if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) start introducing new green policy to the market. As part of its six-year plan, it aims to address climate change across the maritime industries – and the cruise ship market is a big part of the push.

“We can’t develop much of this technology without a wider maritime industry push. We can work with the cruise ship market for example to help incorporate some of their technologies into superyachts,” said Brealey.

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