Vessel Efficiency Commitment Not Enough, Engine Power Cap Needed!

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  • Greek shipowners back mandatory engine power limits to reduce carbon emission.
  • The proposal is to cap engine power, depending on ships’ individual energy efficiency.
  • Impose stricter limits on older, less-energy efficient ships and caps would be set at lower levels on younger, more energy-efficient ships.
  • Bulk carriers and tankers reduce their main engine power by 50% and container ships by 66%. 
  • Shipowners’ commitment alone to a ship’s operational efficiency is not enough to effect a change in the ship’s carbon footprint.
  • An EEXI would allow vessels to reduce GHG intensity through alternative fuels or energy-saving devices. 

The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) have formally backed the the introduction of mandatory engine power limitations to reduce carbon emissions from shipping, writes David Glass for an article published in SeaTrade Maritime News.

MEPC meeting

UGS president Theodore Veniamis said the UGS is formally backing the proposal to cap engine power, depending on ships’ individual energy efficiency.

The UGS’ formal announcement on backing of proposal comes as IMO seeks to harmonise the different views in a meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) next month.

Age of ship and efficiency 

Veniamis told the shipowners’ annual general assembly on 5 February, the main thrust of Greece’s position is to impose stricter limits on older, less-energy efficient ships, as outlined in a proposal made earlier. The proposal sees caps would be set at lower levels on younger, more energy-efficient ships.

Read more: Greece Favours Steep Ship Power Cuts To Reduce Emissions 

Main engine power limit

In November, Greece proposed the measure that prescribes the limit of the main engine power that ships over 5,000 gt can use under normal circumstances to maintain the level of CO2 emissions from ships at a historical low (2012) over a three-year phase-in period, commencing before 2023.

Sectoral prescriptive approach 

The sectoral prescriptive approach the UGS takes, prescribes 

  • bulk carriers and tankers reduce their main engine power by 50% and 
  • container ships by 66%. 

Review clause

The measure includes a review clause to allow for rectifying action by IMO, if necessary.

Flexible proposal

The Greeks claim the proposal is flexible for the owners who have undertaken major conversions to make their older vessels more efficient. 

Why are shipowners’ commitment alone not enough?

The proposal is primarily compatible with the modus operandi of bulk/tramp shipping. Here charterers play a determining role in the ship’s operation. This is the reason why the shipowners’ commitment alone to a ship’s operational efficiency may not be enough to effect a change in the ship’s carbon footprint.

According to Veniamis, charterers should clearly be obliged to adhere to any measure adopted to reduce GHG emissions from ships.

Greece’s position backed 

Greece’s position is backed by Japan and Norway, which envisage the development of an Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) for existing ships in the water.

What is EEXI?

An EEXI would also allow vessels to reduce GHG intensity through alternative fuels or energy-saving devices. A different, goal-based set of GHG emission cut proposals is put forward by Denmark and France.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime News

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