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Saipem eco-operations program

This is the fourth IMCA Environmental Sustainability bulletin, and, like the others, it is drawn from one of the nominations for the inaugural IMCA Environmental Sustainability Awards made at the IMCA Annual Seminar in Den Haag, Netherlands, in November 2018.  It covers how Saipem has made energy efficiency a priority objective, committing itself to curtailing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly.  One of the main activities of this strategy is the Saipem eco-Operations Program for the Saipem Offshore Construction fleet.

What was done?

As a contractor, Saipem is aware of the growing environmental threat posed by climate change and is determined to play its role in ushering in the energy transition and influencing social change.  For this reason, the company has decided to integrate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions into its business strategy.  Thus, the governance, principles and targets are included in a four-year GHG Strategic Plan.

Saipem’s GHG Strategic Plan was developed during 2018 by means of several workshops (including top management and technical departments) focused on goals and milestones and the strategies required to achieve them.

Within the GHG Strategic Plan, Saipem’s Offshore Division developed the Saipem eco-Operations Program, with a view to striving towards energy saving.

How did the improvement come about?

Saipem believes that, following the strong consensus within its industry, energy efficiency in operations is achieved through a hierarchical approach, first and foremost by eliminating unnecessary energy waste.

Within the Saipem eco-Operations Program, and in order to assess areas of improvement accurately, energy assessments were carried out on construction vessels by third-party personnel qualified in energy management.  Through these studies the main energy flows were identified from the sources up to the end users.  As a result, technical and management improvements were defined to reduce consumption and increase the overall efficiency of the vessel, while maintaining the highest standards of operational safety.

While the technical improvements are evaluated in terms of the investment plan (e.g. installation of a heat recovery system or vessel traditional light replacement with LED), management improvements are at the core of the Saipem eco-Operations Program launched across the fleet.

Saipem eco-Operations are a set of best practices identified for each vessel by the energy assessment.  They are defined as management actions with associated fuel savings per hour (and consequently GHG emission reductions).

Each vessel involved receives a specific list of Saipem eco-Operations (SeO). Every action is linked to the savings achievable when implemented (calculated and certified by third party energy experts) and to relevant personnel of each discipline.  An example may be seen in the table below:

Measure Type of Measure Power Consumption Avoided
Fuel Consumption Avoided
GHG Emissions Avoided
Measure #LC-1: Minimization of Energy Consumption for Freshwater Production Management – 21.0 97.2 311.6
Measure #LC-2: Adoption of Green DP® Mode Management 500.0 100.0 320.6
Measure #LC-3: Switch Off Generator Auxiliaries when not Needed Management 285.0 57.0 182.7
Measure #LC-4: Reduction of the Use of Steering Pumps for Thrusters Management 26.3 5.3 16.9
Measure #LC-5: Optimization of Anti-Heeling System Management 44.0 8.8 28.2
Measure #LC-….: Optimization of Ventilation Fan Speed Management 138.7 (port)

115.5 (navigation)

27.7 (port)

23.1 (navigation)

88.8 (port)

74.1 (navigation)

Data are reviewed on a monthly basis, assessing how many different Saipem eco-Operations have been put in place and for how many hours.  The fuel and GHG emissions saved are then calculated by combining the implementation time with the hourly savings already provided by the third party in the energy assessment.

In order to engage the vessel crew, the overall SeO Program is driven by the Saipem Offshore Division Chief Operating Officer who actively shares his/her vision and objectives through a highly motivating video called “Become a Force for Nature”.  This video is tailored to Saipem’s everyday life and contains real situations as well as powerful messages inviting the crew to get actively involved with their actions.

What are the challenges?

Clearly defining energy saving measures for offshore vessels is challenging, since they are strongly related to the equipment/systems on-board and to their operational modes.  For example, fuel consumption varies significantly between a DP unit and an anchor one; for the same vessel, the energy flows are quite different during a pipelay or a heavy lift project, in navigation and/or in port.

For this reason, a general environmental campaign on energy saving could not capture the specificity of each vessel, since it carries the risk of comparing consumption data related to different operational patterns.  To overcome this challenge, a dedicated energy assessment needs to be carried out on each vessel involved.

Once eco-Operations are identified, a further challenge is their regular and systematic application by the crew.  In fact, this requires them carefully to assess, on a day-by-day basis, which best practices are applicable and can be put in place based on current vessel operations, as well as to provide supporting evidence therefor.

Originally issued with the following reference(s): IMCA ESB 04/19

IMCA Contact

Nicholas Hough
Consultant - Safety and Security

Information Note Details

Published date: 12 August 2019
Information note ID: 1446


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