Intertanko and the EEDI: seeking a level playing field
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 | 00:00
This summer, the IMO's Marine Protection Committee (MEPC) introduced mandatory measures to reduce GHG and these measures have been adopted by the parties to Marpol. The amendments to Marpol Annex VI regulations on energy efficiency include the EEDI, which applies to new ships built after 2013. Over the past four years, IMO has worked with a broad range of industry stakeholders to develop a framework for the EEDI.
These stakeholders include Intertanko, which provided technical support to the project.
According to Graham Westgarth, the Chairman of Intertanko, the organisation’s members welcomed the introduction of the EEDI. “We recognise that shipping accounts for about three per cent of global carbon emissions, and have long supported smart and fair measures to reduce
greenhouse gases,” he says. “Our active participation with the IMO in the development of EEDI for new ships is a clear demonstration of our shared commitment to managing this issue more effectively.” Mr Westgarth notes that while marine transportation is generally recognised
as the most fuel-efficient mode of bulk transportation, a 2009 IMO GHG study concluded that improvements in energy efficiency, mainly through the use of already existing technologies, can achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and corresponding emissions. “At the same time, the rising cost of bunkering has increased the industry focus on fuel efficiency,” he says. “The relationship between growing environmental concerns and the desire to reduce fuel costs has created strong incentives for the industry to work together, a cooperative spirit which has the
full support of our membership.”
Indeed, while the EEDI is likely be amended over time, the initiative enjoys the widespread support of governments, industry organisations, owners, operators and the public and has included input from politicians, naval architects, class societies, shipyards and equipment manufacturers, among other stakeholders. “For an industry not always known for concerted
action, the broad-based support for these measures is encouraging,” says Mr Westgarth. “And while some issues remain unresolved, we are confident the EEDI will make a genuine difference.”
In brief, the EEDI requires a minimum energy efficiency level for new vessels entering the world fleet through technical and design-based measures, such as more efficient engines and propulsion
systems, improved hull designs and larger ships, which transport more cargo using proportionally less fuel. At present, the EEDI covers the industry’s most energyintensive segments, including oil and gas tankers, bulk carriers, general cargo ships, refrigerated cargo carriers and container ships. However, the EEDI is not applicable to all ship types or propulsion systems (such as hybrid or diesel electric engines). IMO has indicated that the Marine Environment Protection Committee
(MEPC) will consider ship types not covered by the EEDI at future sessions, focusing on the most carbon-intensive ship types first.
An issue of concern to INTERTANK is the four-year waiver provision included in the newly adopted regulations. This provision allows flag states to waive the 2013 implementation date until 2017. Joe Angelo, Intertanko’s Managing Director, believes that any regulation must apply to
the whole industry equally. “In our view, there should be a level playing field. The EEDI requirements should apply equally to all new ships that are built between 2013 and 2017,” he says. “Carving out exceptions undermines the spirit and intent of the initiative.”
Another critical issue to INTERTANKO is compliance with the EEDI. Reducing the design speed on new ships is an easy way to comply with the EEDI requirements, but INTERTANKO believes that compliance should be achieved through other means. “Our position is that compliance should
focus on improved hull design, propulsion efficiency and energy optimisation, rather than predominantly on reduced design speeds,” says Mr Angelo. “The EEDI should not jeopardise or have an adverse effect on the vessel’s safety.”
While more work clearly needs to be done, both Mr Westgarth and Mr Angelo agree this is a good start. “For the first time in our industry’s history, ships will have to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard , and these standards will be strengthened,” says Mr Westgarth. “It will
take some time before the existing global fleet is replaced by EEDI-compliant vessels, but we are confident that this is the right thing to do.”