Cost Concerns Rise as Shipping Face New Regulations

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Cost concerns as shipping industry face new environmental regulations

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IMO’s MEPC 70 may have developed a “roadmap” for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but it is becoming evident the roadmap’s directions are far from clear.

Indeed, the road ahead for shipping is very challenging as was evidenced after an eight-hour debate on greener shipping in Athens 15 November.

“We have heard a lot about changes that are going to cost and shipping should not be held responsible for covering this cost, governments need to help,” said Haris Giantzikis, technical manager of Greece’s Arcadia Shipmanagement, as the day was winding up.

Availability of low sulphur fuel to meet looming regulations was raised early in proceedings. Panos Zachariadis, technical director Atlantic Bulk Carriers, and a long-time member of the Greek delegation to IMO predicted the sulphur cap will be put back because of the supply issue.  Adrian Pask, BP Marine Fuels, said the refining industry is still seeking clarification on deadlines but believes “there is enough time for refineries”.  “It will not be easy, but we have started to prepare,” he said.

Another fact made very evident is that shipping is in the digital age.  “Big data” is now a part of shipping and while the industry may only just begin to spread its wings in the age of big data, technologies are being developed which the industry, often seen as being reluctant, must embrace, despite fear from traditionalists that the seafarer is being made redundant, or at least is losing onboard control.  This was a particular concern of floor delegates though presenters countered a computerised future provides greater awareness of safety and efficiency while increasing trading potential and thus earning power.

Dimitris Theodossiou, MD of Danaos Management Consultants, was adamant crew must be encouraged to provide the onboard data to their owners as it not only proves to the charterer they are dealing with an efficient ship, it makes the operation of the ship more efficient overall, and certainly rings alarm bells when it comes to maintenance.  The classification men pointed out there is a wealth of data that can be collected and there “are tools which can sort out this data”.

Cyber security and who is actually in charge of cyber security was an issue.  Torbjorn Moller, MAN Diesel & Turbo, pointed out “owners own the data collected and control exactly what the data is used for”.  He said IACS is looking at the issue of cyber security, and it is in the interest of all to collaborate.  Giantzikis said, “Much like when it comes to your home you are responsible for security, the company is responsible for cyber security”.

Shipowner George Tsavliris stressed IMO is in charge of changes in the industry.  “Shipping is over-regulated and unilateral decisions and political agendas must be avoided.  IMO has the knowledge, experience, realistic standards and goals to take us forward,” said Tsavliris.  He was among those wondering if there were sufficient funds in the industry to make the changes being demanded.  He also pointed out shipping is not mentioned in the final Paris Agreement text, and that the overall target for emissions has been changed.

Then, there is the “Trump card” said Tsavliris.  He said the US president-elect has made a number of statements which indicate the US may abandon the Paris Agreement on climate exchange altogether.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime

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