Fathom gives shipowners ECA resource

UK-based Fathom has launched new comprehensive guidance tools for shipowners and operators to support the industry with Emission Control Areas (ECA) operational and compliance challenges.

The release of the new industry resource, Operation in Emission Control Areas: The Guide and On-Board Manual, comes after a survey revealed that operational issues are expected to be of greater concern than additional fuel costs following the limits for sulphur content in marine fuel dropping from 1% to 0.1% in ECAs as of 1 January 2015.

“It is encouraging that a number of ship owners and operators recognise that there are significant challenges to operating in ECAs as it is the first step to ensuring that any serious mechanical or lack of compliance issues are encountered during a ship’s operation,” said Alison Jarabo, director, Fathom.

Fathom says the survey reinforced the need for such resources, with almost 70% of shipowner and operator respondents stating that mechanical problems resulting from the change in fuel properties were by far the biggest concern and potential challenge. The impact of the increase in fuel costs came in second, with the challenge of ensuring that the crew can make the fuel switch successfully in order to comply on time following close behind.

“Whilst many ship owners and operators and their crews are somewhat aware that there may be issues, they do not realise the full range of these and the impact they can have on vessels,” he added.

The provision of shipowner and operator-specific education and resources that can aid the understanding of the significant operational challenges of operating compliantly in ECAs is supported by Ireland-based product and chemical tanker owner and operator, Ardmore Shipping.

“Sulphur content of 0.10% represents more significant challenges to ship owners and operators than solely compliance. If they do not fully understand the operational considerations and prepare their vessels accordingly, serious mechanical issues can result that can in turn result in potentially serious loss of power incidences,” said Mark Cameron, COO, Ardmore Shipping.

In addition to ensuring its vessels and crew are fully prepared, Ardmore Shipping is part of the Trident Alliance, a coalition of shipping owners and operators committed to enforcing maritime sulphur regulations.

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