Eekels informs it has been awarded the TBI Innovation Prize 2013 for its “Slow Steaming” entry. The vote was taken at the TBI TOP250 and no less than 66% of those present voted for Eekels’ ingenious technical innovation. Eekels was one of the 3 nominees that had been chosen from 34 entries by a jury chaired by Maxime Verhagen (chairman of Bouwend Nederland, the Dutch Construction and Infrastructure Federation).
New sailing: slow steaming
Eekels explains that due to the economic downturn, the freight rates in the shipping industry have been under pressure. Fuel prices may constitute up to 60 percent of the total costs and the savings on this have become an important factor in the design of shipping installations.
In 2013 Eekels Technology, in collaboration with shipping company Management Facilities Group, designed the electrical installation for two ocean-going freighters in such a way that the vessels save 50 percent fuel at a 25 percent lower speed. In the ‘slow-steaming mode’ vessels sail whilst keeping their full functionality and capacity. Natural resources are used more efficiently and the CO2 emission per tonne of transported freight is considerably lower.
Charity gets the money
The prize comes with an amount of €10,000 to be donated to charity. Eekels has chosen to donate this sum to the Care4Kenya project of Hanze University Groningen. This will enable Hanze University Engineering students to work on the energy supply for a medical training centre in Mtwapa/Mombasa in Kenya.
At the awards ceremony Maxime Verhagen stated: “With this ingenious technical innovation in the shipping industry, Eekels responds well to the changing philosophy of the shipping companies: fuel costs are more important than transport time. With this entry Eekels is the true winner”.
Rik Jans from Eekels Technology: “We were personally proud of this project, especially because the customers’ requirements triggered us to approach the engineering in a new way. This has led to a completely new, sustainable product. We are still able to execute installation activities, but increasingly we deliver high-quality knowledge. This is a step towards new markets, in the Netherlands and abroad. Fantastic that this has also been noticed by the jury.”