From Singapore to Rotterdam – Ascenz branches out with European office
With the establishment of its new business unit in Rotterdam, privately-owned Ascenz Solutions is set to strengthen its position as a pioneer of ship data acquisition and analytic solutions that will help maritime players align with new, and evolving, regulatory requirements on energy-efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the last few years, stricter legislation governing emissions made by the shipping industry has been brought into force around the world. The European Union took the lead, in 2015, as the first region to adopt a legal framework for the monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from maritime transport. The Ascenz Rotterdam operation is being set-up to cater for projected European demand for smart shipping solutions for data acquisition and analytics, aligned with the EU’s MRV regulations.
Founded in 2008 in Singapore, Ascenz has risen rapidly to become the global leader in the provision of end-to-end operational risk intelligence solutions for the maritime industry. Its award-winning remote fuel consumption and bunkering monitoring solutions deliver fuel savings, emissions compliance and operational efficiencies for the world’s largest shipping and transportation companies. In a sense, it is a sea-based application of the Internet of Things, whereby sensors monitor multiple parameters and stream data for analysis and eventual adjustment.
Ascenz Shipulse Data Acquisition System (DAS), is a game-changing, decision support and risk-monitoring and compliance tool for maritime fleet operators, sustainability, and supply management professionals. Parameters examined include a host of variables influencing a vessel’s fuel efficiency, including weather and engine load. Shipulse DAS is able to transmit data collated from shipboard sensors to shore. The system employs unique information visualization techniques, which enable fleet operations and procurement professionals to efficiently monitor thousands of ships for performance or disruptive events that might adversely affect their fleet’s operational performance. Fleet operators can conduct a comparative assessment of different marine energy devices using Shipulse’s cost estimation calculators. Ascenz CEO, Chia Yoong Hui, has observed that a more tech-savvy generation has increasingly risen to positions of authority at shipping companies in recent years. He cited, as an example, a former US banker who is keen to introduce data mining technology to a family-run shipping business in Taiwan. To these new business leaders, running a business without data is unthinkable.
Ascenz incorporated as a business entity in Singapore after its first client, SMIT, came on board in 2008. SMIT was looking to equip diesel-powered tugs with remote fuel monitoring systems to be supplied and installed by Ascenz. Europe remains, to some extent, “unknown territory” and in this respect, Ascenz relies heavily on IE Singapore for the required connections in the new markets. IE Singapore’s Group Director for Transport and Logistics, Law Chung Ming, commented: “We are working with Ascenz on their overseas expansion and have been providing market insights and connecting them to critical local partners to fast-track their market entry.”
IE Singapore sees the potential to introduce a new generation of digital technologies in the maritime sector to improve work flow, manage daily operations and reduce risks of human errors. The aim is “to groom the next generation of technology disruptors who can change and improve the way things are traditionally done in the offshore & marine industry”, asserts Law Chung Ming.
Asked for his reasoning behind the decision to locate in the Netherlands, CEO, Chia Yoong Hui stated: “The Port of Rotterdam was the obvious choice for us when evaluating potential locations for our European operation. As the largest, most dynamic port in Europe, Rotterdam is also base for many of our current and potential future partners, with excellent links to the other ARA ports as well as other major ports throughout Europe. Rotterdam Port Authority is working hard towards sustainability goals and fosters many initiatives that complement our business.” And added: “I would like to commend NFIA and Rotterdam Partners for their prompt response and excellent assistance in helping us to settle down in Rotterdam.”