The UK’s largest ship operator servicing the oil and gas industry, has kick started its ambitious fleet decarbonisation plans with an in-depth sustainability study across its 44 offshore infrastructure support vessels.

The results will deliver a roadmap to help North Star futureproof its tonnage, enhance operational performance, and meet its net zero 2040 target.

North Star CEO Matthew Gordon

North Star CEO Matthew Gordon

The firm has commissioned independent design and engineering consultants, Houlder Ltd, to determine the carbon emission reduction opportunities on its existing fleet and recommend the most effective green innovations for the firm to invest in over the next decade. The engineering design, clean technology and technical consultancy has extensive experience in supporting marine clients to adapt their fleets to improve environmental performance and meet the decarbonisation challenge.

As part of the three-stage analysis, Houlder will evaluate North Star’s fleet of emergency response and rescue vehicles, platform supply vessels, as well as its future renewables fleet. The first will establish greenhouse gas emissions and carbon intensity across its existing assets and onshore operations. It will then identify the most suitable clean technologies to improve each vessel’s efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

The final phase will assess all potential energy efficient and low emission propulsion solutions which could be retrofitted to the existing fleet in line with operational requirements, available space, displacement, power demand and endurance requirements. Alternative fuels of the future will also be considered. The assessment and results are due to be completed in Q1 next year.

Chris Bell, senior consultant at Houlder said: “There are many proven energy efficiency adaptations and technologies that can be deployed today to support the transition to net-zero emissions operations. There is no single best solution to the decarbonisation 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 prioritise. This approach turns a tough challenge into an achievable and actionable process.”