North Star begins UK fleet decarbonization with Houlder sustainability study

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To begin the its fleet decarbonization plans, North Star has announced it will conduct an in-depth sustainability study across its 44 offshore infrastructure support vessels.

The results will subsequently be used to draw up a roadmap on how the company can future-proof its tonnage, enhance its operational performance and meet its target of becoming net zero by 2040.

Independent design and engineering consultancy company Houlder has been commissioned by North Star to determine the carbon emission reduction opportunities on its existing fleet. The consultancy company will then recommend sustainable technology for North Star to invest in over the next 10 years.

The sustainability study will consist of a three-stage analysis under which Houlder will also evaluate North Star’s fleet of emergency response and rescue vehicles, its platform supply vessels and the company’s future renewables fleet.

Firstly, it will establish the greenhouse gas emissions and carbon intensity across North Star’s existing assets and onshore operations before identifying suitable clean technologies to improve the efficiency of company vessels in addition to reducing the environmental impact.

The final part of the study will assess the potential to retrofit energy efficient and low-emission propulsion systems to North Star’s existing fleet of ships, in line with operational requirements. Alternative fuels will also be evaluated. The study and its results are expected to be completed in the Q1 2021.

“We are 100% committed to cutting greenhouse gases across our business and accelerating our energy transition,” commented Matthew Gordon, chief executive, North Star. “This includes further diversification into the renewables market, and improving the environmental sustainability and operational excellence of our existing ships to best serve our clients and shareholders.

“The urgent need for the sector to upscale to zero-emission vessels and clean fuels is gathering pace and while we are well informed on the numerous innovations which would provide dynamic options, it is vital that we are fully informed with conclusive intelligence to support our investment decisions.”

North Star’s first renewables fleet for the offshore wind market is being built at present and includes four service offshore vessels and associated daughter craft. The vessels benefit from low fuel consumption, advanced propulsion systems, hybrid power management and a waste heat recovery system. The ships can also utilize offshore in-field battery charging and future clean maritime fuels.

“There are many proven energy efficiency adaptations and technologies that can be deployed today to support the transition to net-zero emissions operations,” added Chris Bell, senior consultant, Houlder. “There is no single best solution to the decarbonization challenge. What’s important is to determine how they can best be packaged together for greatest effect.  This study not only determines the viable technology options for the North Star fleet, but also highlights specific ships to target and prioritize. This approach turns a tough challenge into an achievable and actionable process.”





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