The Countdown to IMO 2020

On January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s rules on sulfur emission are due to come into force – a move which will have a monumental impact on the shipping industry.  

This legislation will ban any ship from emitting more than 0.5% of sulfur in its fuel, a cut of almost 3% from the current level. Therefore, planning for the implementation will be one of the industry’s biggest challenges in 2019.

In this exclusive insight, PTI has explored the reasons behind the new rules and how some of the world’s biggest carriers are preparing for them.

The IMO’s motivation is clear – the shipping industry, while invaluable to the global economy, is one of the biggest polluters in the world.

It contributes 17% of the world’s CO2 annual emissions and 8% of its sulfur output. The former could, according to the EU, could rise to 50% by 2050 unless action is taken.

This is because, as things stand, the shipping industry relies on sulfur-heavy heavy fuel oil (HFO) and has done for decades.

Estimates vary but it is believed that the IMO’s regulations will cost the shipping industry between US $60 – 200 billion.

Carriers have devised various ways of complying with the laws, which may turn out to be beneficial to business, as well as the environment.

The biggest has been a move towards new fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) which has the potential to reduce shipping times and improve efficiencies.

Carriers have also been searching for eco-friendly innovations. Japanese carrier MOL, which recently merged into Ocean Network Express (ONE), for example, unveiled plans six new technologies in August 2018.

These included water treatment systems, sulfur scrubbers, LNG-fuelled vessels and even plans to use electric sails on container vessels, which it hopes to launch by 2020.

This is just one of the big innovations that the industry is looking at. Others include new hybrid cleaning systems, which will reduce the output of dirty chemicals, and even cryptocurrencies.

On December 5, the world’s biggest carrier A.P. Moeller-Maersk announced plans to go above and beyond complying with the IMO’s 2020 rules when it set a target of having carbon neutral vessels on the seas by 2030.

That is part of the company’s plans to achieve a completely carbon-free fleet by 2050 and called on the rest of the industry to “join forces” and find new ways of keep trade moving while protecting the environment.

2019 will be dominated by the shipping industry’s preparations for January 1, 2020. It has already inspired a raft of technological innovations which could become fixtures of the sector for years to come.

Source: Port Technology

EU Bodies agree on Port Waste Facilities

Representatives from the Presidency of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for the new EU directive on port reception facilities.

Ships will be allowed to deliver all garbage when paying a fixed port waste fee, without port-specific limitations towards the volumes delivered. This will guarantee that ports keep investing in efficient port reception facilities, which are to be supported by transparent cost recovery systems.

“This agreement is an important step towards the further safeguarding of the marine environment, the working space of our shipping industry,” said Martin Dorsman, secretary general of European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).

“By facilitating all ships to deliver their waste to adequate port reception facilities ashore, the EU is showcasing how we can halt the generation of marine litter. This contributes towards the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds.”

Global outlook

Although the directive mainly focuses on European ports and ships entering those, the EU legislators clearly recognise the importance of ensuring smooth operation of maritime traffic between EU and non-EU ports, stated ECSA. The organisation pointed out this is demonstrated by the alignment of the EU legislation with the IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which has been amended since the current directive was adopted in 2000.

“We are looking forward now to take up the work again which started many years ago in the port reception facilities subgroup of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum ESSF and are eager to continue the good cooperation with the NGOs, the EU ports, the EU legislators and the Member States in a new expert working group,” emphasised Mr Dorsman.

Source: Green Port