Denmark rejects speed restriction as GHG measure

Speed restrictions would distort the market, benefit inefficient ships and force cargo onto the roads, says Danish Shipping Speed restrictions would distort the market, benefit inefficient ships and force cargo onto the roads, says Danish Shipping

One of the world’s most environmentally progressive flag states, Denmark, has rejected the imposition of speed restrictions as a measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Danish Shipping CEO Anne Steffensen dismissed the proposal, one of several measures under consideration as the IMO aims to firm up its greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy by April, as a market distortion that would benefit inefficient ships.

A global speed limit for international marine traffic, which supporters say could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2.51 billion tonnes between now and 2030, would also cause difficulties for the ro-ro and ro-pax markets, Steffensen said. Members of the flag registry, which includes one of the world’s biggest ro-ro operators DFDS, believe that a speed restriction would see freight and passengers switch from sea to road transport.

Meanwhile DFDS has noted the CO2 trade-off implied by sulphur reduction and other environmental measures. Poul Woodall, director of environment and sustainability, DFDS, cited figures from the International Bunker Industry Association claiming that refineries will have to increase CO2 emissions by around 5% in order to produce low-sulphur fuel compliant with IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap.

“It is more carbon efficient to use onboard scrubbers to clean heavy fuel oil,” said Woodall. DFDS has already installed scrubbers across most of its fleet, and will also equip forthcoming newbuilds – including two 4,500lm ro-pax vessels and two 6,700lm ro-ro ships – with the exhaust gas cleaning technology.

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