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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

Mediterranean ECA bid needs Spain’s support

Barcelona City Council has backed an initiative to establish an Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Mediterranean Sea (Med-ECA) to limit air pollution produced by ships and is urging the Spanish Government to support the cause.

Alianza Mar Blava, Transport & Environment, Ecologistas en Acción of Catalonia and Plataforma por la Calidad del Aire have congratulated Barcelona City Council for subscribing to the initiative led by the CleanCruiseNetwork alliance.

The initiative calls for the Spanish Government to actively support the creation, as soon as possible, of a Med-ECA covering all major air pollutants, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, but also particles and black carbon, to support efforts in this direction initiated by France and other coastal states of the Mediterranean.

EU coordination

Spain is also being asked to coordinate with the European Commission, with France and the rest of member states of the European Union (EU), as well as with non-EU coastal states, to ensure the creation of said Mediterranean ECA and, subsequently, once created, to support the implementation of a cooperative cross-border management of the same.

Additionally, it is being asked to urgently implement the relevant measures in the Ports of the State to ensure the reduction of emissions from ships, forcing them, once they are docked, to connect to the electricity grid for daily operation, among other measures.

The establishment of a regulatory framework for ECAs in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel has led to immediate improvements in air quality of up to 50% since 2015 and associated socio-economic benefits valued in billions of euros.

Source: Maritime Journal

Energy efficiency in shipping – why it matters!

All industries are looking to becoming cleaner, greener and more energy efficient – and shipping is no exception. Improved energy efficiency means less fuel is used, and that means less harmful emissions.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for safe, secure and environment-friendly shipping – is leading a European Union funded project designed to help shipping move into a new era of low-carbon operation.

IMO has launched a video outlining how the Global MTCC Network (GMN) initiative is uniting technology centres – Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) – in targeted regions into a global network. Together, they are promoting technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector.

“This project is one of the building blocks that will help shipping becoming greener,” says Magda Kopczynska, Director, DG MOVE, European Commission.

Five MTCCs have been established in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. Acting as centres of excellence for their regions, the MTCCs will work with partners to develop technical cooperation, capacity building and technology transfer – sharing the results and their experiences throughout the network to ensure a common approach to a global issue.

Innovative programmes and projects are being developed and carried out by the MTCCs – all designed to promote energy-efficient technologies and operations.

Developing countries and, in particular, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, will be the main beneficiaries of this ambitious initiative.

For regions particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, it’s a chance to get involved in promoting technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector.

“When we saw this project, we saw it as an opportunity to build partnership throughout the region to mitigate, at least in the maritime sector, the impacts of climate change,” says Vivian Rambarath-Parasram, Head of MTCC-Caribbean.

Estimates say ships’ energy consumption and CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 75% by applying operational measures and implementing existing technologies. The GMN is on the cutting edge of climate-change mitigation – and, at the same time, opening up a world of opportunities for those who participate in it.

“We’re looking forward to building capacity for not just Kenya but for the African region in general – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to improve air quality in our port cities,” says Nancy W. Karigithu, Principal Secretary Maritime and Shipping Affairs, Kenya.

By promoting technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector and helping navigate shipping into a low-carbon future, the GMN project is steering a course for a cleaner, greener future.

The GMN project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

MTCCs:

  • MTCC-Africa, hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Mombasa, Kenya
  • MTCC-Asia, hosted by Shanghai Maritime University, China
  • MTCC-Caribbean, hosted by University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
  • MTCC-Latin America, hosted by International Maritime University of Panama, Panama
  • MTCC-Pacific, hosted by Pacific Community, Suva, Fiji

Source: Hellenic Shipping News