Jul 1, 2014
Hi Haifeng, This is a brilliant idea, and well overdue. Have you spoken to any investors yet? As you mentioned, it wouldn't be without risks - They would be investing in commercially unproven technology with no collateral to fall back on (once the fuel saving technology is fitted, it would be cost prohibitive to remove it again). Further, contractually, what would happen if the owners sell the ship. Ecoship would be forced into a new contract, but not in a position to negotiate favourable terms because the fuel saving technology will have already been fitted. Good luck with this idea - It always amazes me that even with all the entrepreneurs in the world, there are still new ‘win - win’ business ideas to be realised. I notice from your profile that you specialise in marine transport energy efficiency, so perhaps you could peruse one of my Climate CoLab proposals: https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300202/planId/1307201 It’s a bit far out, but I’m trying to harvest wave energy to propel ships. It seems absolutely crazy to me that ships are literally swimming in Megawatts of energy, and we aren’t utilising it at all - just because it’s too intellectually challenging. Chris
Jul 1, 2014
Chris, Thank you for your support and great questions. There are quite a few mature technologies that have not been universally adopted by the shipping industry (such as those in Figure 1). The cost and benefit are quite certain and present low-hanging fruits for investors. No, I haven't presented this idea to investor yet. With the private equity jumping into the shipping industry, I hope some could take a step back and investigate the possibility of investing in the legacy fleet, not just newly built ships. Haifeng
Aug 5, 2014
The concept gives EcoShip has the exclusive right on returns of the retrofit technology on the owner’s ship which would be problematic. Most freight operators are already incentivized to improve efficiency to make the ship more profitable and make freight hauling rates more competitive. Putting a ship down for retrofit is expensive because it takes it out of service. There doesn’t seem to be much of a need private equity funds to finance such retrofits when traditional means are already available. It would be very difficult to quantify and predict the cash flow from projected fuel savings because it is highly ship dependent.