Due to its dependence on fossil fuel combustion and the fact that it is one of the least regulated anthropogenic emission sources, emissions from the marine transport sector contribute significantly to air pollution and climate change. The European Environment Agency last March published a report on the impact of international shipping on European air quality. The main objective of the report was to provide a comprehensive review of recent literature and reports, taking into account expert knowledge, on the maritime transport sector. The report addresses the sector’s impact on air quality and climate forcing in Europe and the executive summary of the report is presented in this article.
The global sulphur cap of 0.5%, which the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will implement between 2020 and 2025 is expected to accelerate the adoption of LNG as fuel for shipping globally, provided that bunkering infrastructure is available. Corresponding developments for LNG bunkering and phasing-in of LNG fuelled ships have already started, although not in Australia.
Work to update the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimate for international shipping moved forward during an Expert Workshop at IMO Headquarters during 26 February to 1 March 2013. A final study is expected to be delivered in 2014. The second IMO GHG Study 2009 had estimated that international shipping emitted 870 million tonnes, or about 2.7% of the global man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2007.
Civic Exchange released the previous month a new report entitled Cruise Ship Emissions and Control in Hong Kong. With the opening of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in June this year, the current report aims to provide timely information regarding cruise ship emissions in Hong Kong for thorough discussions between the government, business sectors and the general public on the issues.
During last February a very interesting article from Edmund Hughes, Technical Officer, Marine Environment Division, IMO was published in IMO’s website, explaining the new regulations aimed at improving the energy efficiency of international shipping, which entered into force on 1 January 2013 and make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. Other amendments to MARPOL Annex VI add new definitions and the requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate. The regulations apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. However, under regulation 19, the Administration may waive the requirements for new ships up to a maximum of 4 years.
Last August the North America ECA low sulphur requirements came into force and as a result the sulfur content of the fuel oil used onboard ships operating in this area may not exceed 1.00% m/m (10,000 ppm). This new requirement comes to add further restrictions on the fuels’ sulphur levels and gives the PSCO the ability to examine either the vessel’s SMS or its equipment or relevant records on whether or not they are in line with ECA regulations.
The EU has been on record for several years that it would take regional action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, if no global agreement had been reached at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) by the end of 2011. On 1 October 2012, European Commissioners Hedegaard and Kallas announced that the Commission would propose monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions as a starting point towards a more comprehensive system to reduce emissions. Although a significant number of ship-owners are already voluntarily monitoring the efficiency of their fleet, there is currently no legal requirement in Europe for ship-owners to keep track of their vessels’ direct fuel consumption and communicate this data to port state authorities. The precise requirements to be contained in the EU MRV scheme are not yet known. The legislative proposal is not expected before the first quarter of 2013. This paper by Transport & Environment NGO highlights some important aspects to be taken into account when developing a reliable emissions monitoring system and it investigates different options.
During December 2012 Transport & Environment NGO released a paper investigating opportunities to establish an energy efficiency benchmark measurement. The paper also makes references to different metrics and proposals already under consideration at the IMO or in the EU and identifies possible options in the current EU discussions on monitoring, reporting and verification.
LNG-fuelled vessels promise a solution to many of the environmental challenges facing shipping over the next 30 years. To meet the needs to cut CO² emissions and maximize efficiency wherever possible, IPP Ingenieur Partner Pool developed STREAM, the new containership design for LNG-powered containerships. The concept, which has been assessed by GL and given a certificate of approval, is for a range of liner or feeder vessels from 3,000 TEU to 4,200 TEU for worldwide service.
Reducing emissions from ocean-going vessels as they sail near populated areas is a widely recognized goal, and vessel speed reduction regulations is one of several strategies that is being adopted by regulators and port authorities. A Californian research shows that slowing the speed of cargo ships near coastlines could dramatically cut ships’ air pollution.