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EU Blue Economy Observatory
News article25 September 2023

BlueInvest backs '13 Mari' fuel efficiency innovation

Bulgarian-based startup 13 Mari has developed innovative drag-reduction solutions for improved fuel efficiency and cleaner waters. The company received coaching through the EU BlueInvest Readiness Assistance Programme and secured over USD 500,000 in funding.

Maritime transport plays an integral part in the EU economy and is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. At the EU level, the sector accounts for approximately 3 to 4% of the EU's total CO2 emissions. In 2019, this was over 144 million tonnes of CO2.

The commercial shipping industry needs to operate sustainably, support cleaner waters, and reduce fuel bills. Fuel costs are the number one expense in the international shipping industry, representing 50-75% of the total ship operation costs. However, these challenges are being addressed by 13 Mari which has developed a simple, yet effective approach to improve fuel efficiency.

How 13 Mari are addressing the challenges

The start-up has introduced a composite element that reduces "drag," the resistance ships face in the water. By reducing drag, ships need less energy to move through water, resulting in lower fuel consumption and fewer CO2 emissions.

13 Mari’s solution involves attaching 15-30 composite elements to the ship's hull, each providing a 10% faster water flow and 20% less drag locally. On average, major vessels, such as tankers and container carriers, can reduce their drag by 3.7% by introducing the retrofits at the present stage. This can lead to fuel savings of at least 3.7% and an estimated potential annual elimination of 45,000,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The company credits their evolution and success to the support received through the BlueInvest Readiness Assistance Programme, which has assisted the company in the most fragile stages of development.

Find out more about 13 Mari

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Publication date
25 September 2023