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At the Yacht Club de Monaco alternative fuels take center stage


MONACO, July 05, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ‘Alternative fuels and advanced yachting technology’. It is the title of one of the conferences held at the Yacht Club de Monaco during the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge week, aiming to build the yachting sector of the future. Sharing the goal of the Monaco Capital of Advanced Yachting approach, the conference addressed the questions of technology awareness for the maritime and yachting industries regarding alternative fuels and advanced state of the art technologies.

Methanol and its role towards the net zero goal was among the topics covered from the yachting industry perspective. “At Lürssen we’ve been looking at alternative fuels for many years and we’ve looked into different kinds. There are several criteria that are relevant for alternative fuels such as energy density, safety, handling and so on. Methanol is the most promising fuel regarding energy density. It’s very easy in handling and it can be easily stored in the bottom of the boat. Whereas if you look at hydrogen it has a reduced energy density and you have to store it in a cylindrical tank which has to be stored not on the bottom of the ship so that takes valuable space within the yacht. That is why we’re going on methanol. Now there’s more or less an understanding in yachting industry looking at the different engine manufacturers that are developing engines for methanol”, said Bernhard Urban, head of development& innovation at Lürssen. “We need to work together. We need yards, technical partners, but also for yacht owners and crews to be confident, fuels to be available in ports and authorities to be fast in defining the regulations”, added Paolo Bertetti, vice president Technical and R&D at Sanlorenzo.

Moving forward, the role of nuclear energy in the yachting sector was also discussed. “It is possible to have a nuclear reactor on board of a yacht. A different thing is how effective it is. We started doing research around 10 years ago but for small reactors we still have to wait. We’ve seen that is possible to build it in the yacht, which will then be a little bit bigger and a little bit heavier but, as most of our yachts sail in a limited time of the year, we think it’s less effective to have a nuclear reactor on board. The reactor in fact can actually provide 100% of the time 100% of the power but only a few percent of the time of the year we use the full power. The rest of the time is for anchor. So, we think is actually more effective to have a nuclear reactor on shore or somewhere floating. We would see that coming earlier and maybe later on if there’s more production of nuclear reactors, if costs will go down, if safety issues are solved and is accepted by the general public, maybe in 20-30 years time there’ll be room for nuclear reactors on board”, said Ronno Schouten, senior specialist Feadship.

While navigating sustainability, it is important to measure emissions and to define life cycles. “We’re continuing the development of the Sea Index and today we launched a collaboration with the maritime class society ‘RINA’. It is a new methodology to calculate Co2 emissions based on the bunkering of the fuel, the choice of the fuel. It's also a future proof methodology because it can take into consideration biofuels and different concentrations of those biofuels with a well to wake approach. We’re really hoping that this methodology, that will be accessible on our website very soon, will be used by people and also to see the impact depending on the type of fuel that has been chosen”, said Natalie Quévert, Sea Index head of project.

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