“We see the maritime industry has increased its focus on sustainable products, material selection and design in recent years. Electric ferries carry heavy batteries and need lighter materials. The CO2 footprint in the industry needs to be reduced and recycling of material has therefore gained traction. Aluminium is a good fit,” says Thomas B. Svendsen, Market Manager in Hydro.
Since 2015, Hydro has delivered cost-effective and custom-made aluminium solutions for cruise ships, mega-yachts, defense vessels, passenger ferries, and leisure craft, as well as offshore vessels and installations.
Hydro expects to deliver nearly 8,000 tonnes of aluminium to the maritime industry in 2021.
In recent years, Hydro has worked with innovative companies like Arksen, Brim, The Ocean Cleanup, Vita Power and Vaan to discover new ways to include aluminium in their vessels.
Across the maritime industry, sustainable solutions are in demand. From environmentally conscious cruise passengers to increasing recycling capabilities in smaller leisure vessels and reducing the CO2 emissions from high-speed vessels.
“The immediate environmental focus in the maritime industry is related to direct emissions. But we also see increased focus on material usage as well,” says Svendsen.
Greener maritime industry with greener materials
The introduction of stricter environmental requirements for international shipping by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has resulted in an expected growing demand for environmental and climate technology in the years to come.
One of the biggest industry challenges today is that products designed and produced are too difficult or expensive to take apart and recycle when they are no longer in use. Hydro has extensive experience in developing cost-effective, efficient and strong solutions for the marine industry.
“We supply aluminium extrusions and aluminium sheet for vessels that are strong yet light and corrosion-resistant, making them ideal materials for marine applications. Hydro is working systematically to increase the knowledge in the market about the advantages of aluminium and we see more customers coming to us for support,” says Svendsen.
He adds that by using aluminium, it’s also possible to cut the weight to about 50 percent compared to steel while maintaining the necessary strength. Moreover, aluminium has a density around one-third that of steel or copper, making it one of the lightest commercially available metals. The resultant high strength-to-weight ratio makes it an important structural material, allowing increased payloads or fuel savings for transport industries.
The demand for sustainable solutions is expected to grow in the next couple of years and Hydro is working on several upcoming projects. A push from both consumers and governments, together with increased focus across the maritime industry, is expected to lift demand for innovative solutions at sea.