Looking to reduce emissions and fuel costs, in 2020 Boluda Towage Europe fitted out its tug ‘Union Koala’ with C-Sense’s EcoPilot fuel consumption monitoring system – and hit its economy targets.

Significant savings aboard ‘Union Koala’

The Eco-Pilot has been in use for some years since it was launched onto the market by French company C-Sense as an efficient and userfriendly tool specifically to measure and quantify fuel usage on board any kind of vessel. A network of sensors precisely measures the flow of fuel to the engine, delivering the data to the bridge fuel monitor, and storing a more extensive suite of data detailing fuel consumption alongside engine revolutions and other parameters. The Eco-Pilot is easily installed and entirely safe in operation, and the installation includes an automatic fail-safe in which in the event of a flow meter failure, the fuel supply to the engine remains uninterrupted.

Where are the savings? Savings come from the tugmaster having a constantly updated fuel consumption readout, delivering real-time data that provides the bridge team with the perfect tool to manage operations as efficiently as possible. This identifies vessel handling characteristics and situations that result in higher fuel costs and enabling the development of new skill sets around economic operation. That’s the first step. The bigger picture is that over an extended period the vessel operator builds up an overview of fuel usage across a fleet of vessels using data recorded and delivered direct to the office, which in turn makes it possible to develop an extended fuel consumption policy. This has the potential to lead to significant long-term economies.

“We’ve noticed an immediate drop in the consumption in the first month that the ECO Pilot was active, and the consumption figures were visible for the crew. This immediate reduction has become our average constant during the following months. After one year using Eco-Pilot, we calculated that Return on Investment, including procurement and installation, has been reached in less than 6 months”, said Stijn Van Beneden, Fleet Manager Boluda Towage Europe.

By Jake Frith