IMO reveals carbon breakthrough

14 Nov 2011

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has unveiled a study into mandatory efficiency measures for shipping which confirms that implementation will lead to significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions

The IMO commissioned study, ‘Assessment of IMO mandated energy efficiency measures for international shipping’, found that, by 2020, an average of 151.5 million tonnes of annual CO2 reductions are estimated from the introduction of the measures. This figure, it is claimed, will increase to an average of 330 million tonnes annually resulting from enhanced fuel efficiency.

These mandatory technical and operational measures to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping were adopted at IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in July 2011. Amendments to the international convention on MARPOL, Annex VI, add a new chapter on ‘regulations on energy efficiency for ships’ which will apply to all ships of 400gt and above and are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013.

The new chapter makes mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships which basically requires that newbuildings be designed to be more efficient. The target is 30% greater efficiency by 2025. The new regulations also make mandatory a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) which sets out how energy savings can be made for an individual ship. There are a variety of options to improve operational efficiency including speed optimisation, weather routing and hull maintenance.

The report estimates that the reductions in CO2 emissions, for combined EEDI and SEEMP, translate into an annual fuel cost saving of about $50 billion in 2020 and about $200 billion by 2030. These figures use fuel price increases that take into account the switch to low sulphur fuel in 2020.

IMO will report on the breakthrough to the forthcoming ‘United Nations climate change conference’ to be held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

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