Energy companies increasingly adopting IoT for operations
According to a recent report released by Inmarsat Enterprise, energy companies across the globe are utilising Internet of Things (IoT) within their operations.
The report, dubbed The Future of IoT in Enterprise”, found that the technologies are being applied to streamline business strategies, ultimately aiming to reduce expenditure and increase profits.
47% of energy companies surveyed by Inmarsat note that cost saving opportunities are prioritised when using IoT.
37% suggested that improving health and safety was the most important aspect of implementing the technologies, with another 37% placing increasing automation at the top of the agenda.
“The energy industry is at a fundamental crossroads,” commented Gary Bray, Director of Energy at Inmarsat Enterprise.
“The volatility in the price of oil and rapid adoption of electric cars and renewable technology are just a couple of the factors putting serious pressure on some energy businesses’ margins.”
“Rather than energy businesses extracting as much fuel as possible, we are increasingly seeing a focus on profitable volume, which can be extracted and distributed at the lowest possible cost to boost margins and improve profitability.”
“It is no surprise therefore that oil and gas producers are looking to the technologies of digital transformation to help them reduce these extraction, distribution and operational costs.”
“Rapid digitalisation of the sector will create an ‘Internet of Energy’ network that incorporates interconnected, intelligent measuring and monitoring systems with real-time visualisations of consumer usage data.”
“This can be integrated into automation systems that instantly adapt to fluctuations in availability or demand and enable predictive maintenance of assets that will extend their lifespan, maximise resources and minimise wastage.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.