IMO Centers to Mitigate Harmful Effects of Climate Change

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International Maritime Organization has announced the first two institutes selected to host regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) under an ambitious project, funded by the EU and implemented by IMO, to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, Shanghai Maritime University in China will host the MTCC for the Asia region (MTCC-Asia), while the University of Trinidad and Tobago will host MTCC-Caribbean.  Three further MTCCs will be established in other target regions – Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific – to form a global network.

The five regional MTCCs will deliver mutually-agreed project milestones over a three-year period, making a significant contribution to IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.

The MTCCs will receive allocations from the €10 million European Union funding for the project.  They will be established and resourced to become regional centers of excellence, providing leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.

The selection of Shanghai Maritime University and the University of Trinidad and Tobago, both confirmed this week, followed a competitive tendering process.

Aims of the GMN project:

Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are expected to increase but developing countries, which play a significant role in international shipping, often lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors.  This project, formally entitled “Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry” will enable developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island the Developing States, in the target regions to effectively implement energy-efficiency measures through technical assistance, capacity building and promoting technical cooperation.

The project will be implemented through the network of MTCCs which, once operational, will act as focal points for:

  • Improving capability in the region by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, and other relevant government departments and related shipping stakeholders to facilitate compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships
  • Promoting the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through pilot projects
  • Raising awareness about policies, strategies, and measures for the reduction of GHG and other emissions from the maritime transport sector
  • Demonstrating a pilot-scale system for collecting data and reporting on ships’ fuel consumption to improve ship owners’ and maritime administrations’ understanding in this regard, and
  • Developing and implementing strategies to sustain the impact of MTCC results and activities beyond the project timeline.

Shanghai Maritime University (SMU)

SMU is a multi-disciplinary, maritime-specific university that encompasses such areas as engineering, management, economics, law, arts and sciences.  It has over 20,000 full-time students.

Since 2010, SMU has specialized in researching technology related to ships’ energy efficiency and controlling GHG emissions.  In March 2012, its Integrated Engine Room Lab became operational and is now used for professional training and research.  It is also used to measure fuel economy and test emissions from marine diesel engines, to assess potential options for saving energy and mitigating emissions.  SMU’s existing capacity, combined with the project’s support through the creation of MTCC-Asia, will be used to assist developing countries in the region to enhance their capabilities to address GHG emissions from shipping.

The Asian MTCC will have two offices in Shanghai, one on the campus and one located within 20 minutes of Waigaopiao Port, facilitating connection with other ports.

The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT)

The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is a multi-campus facility that hosts specialized programs dedicated to developmental disciplines including maritime capacity building, energy efficiency, environmental studies and marine research.  MTCC-Caribbean will be situated within the Chaguaramas Campus which is in the North-Western Peninsula of Trinidad and Tobago.

With maritime capacity building at the core of its operations, the University has historically emphasized the importance of sustainable development and efficient use of resources.  The dedicated faculty is supported by maritime training facilities, workshops, and laboratories.

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Source: IMO

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