Mr G. S. Kaminis, Marine Consultant Engineer-Economist and pioneer in the introduction.
Mr Kaminis initially explaned that :due to anticipated shortage and price increase of Low Sulphur Residual Fuels in SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Areas), already some signs appear in the scene in favor of generalization of
Distilled, the prices of which are mush higher than the Residual Fuels used today.
According to published data and information from Refineries, Fuel Suppliers and Maritime issues, the total demand of Residual Marine Fuels in general, calculated by the balance of numbers of existing ships, new ships on order and estimated to be withdrawn, it is estimated in the area of 300 to 320 million tons yearly by the year 2010. Out of this, the total yearly demand of Low Sulphur Residual Fuels of 1.5% by the year 2010, it is estimated to 150 million tons, if present SECA controlled areas of Baltic, North Sea and between European Ports, is extended to Mediterranea, North America and Canada. Already Port of Calais impose the European Directive EU/2005/33/EC to Ferries.
He discribed the issues about sufficiency of Low Sulphur 1.5% Residual Fuel overoptimistic as they are far distant of the developing worldwide cost reality.
And he followed saying that :for the conversion of regular Residual Fuels to Residual Fuels of low Sulphur 1.5%, in order to cope with European demands by 2010, according to Marpol VI and European Directive EU/2005/33/EC, the European Refineries must make new installations up to 15 billion dollars?. Additionally ?it is estimated that the average cost for Low Sulphur 1.5% Residual Fuels after such new Refinery investments, it will be in the area of 35 dollars/ton. As a result, in order to amortize the initial cost for the new installations and make a profit, the Residual Fuels of 1.5% Sulphur must be sold at least 100-110 dollars on top of High Sulphur Residual Fuel Oils prices. We were recently informed of two cases of increased prices in the SECA areas by 68 and 75 dollars premium per ton from two different Ferry Companies.
Another issue to take into account in the proposal that INTERTANKO made to IMO about the adoption of a Worldwide Low Sulphur regime. By narrowing the worldwide ship consumption to one only class of fuel products, starting with a higher price level than Residual Fuels used today, Refineries and Fuel Suppliers have a free highway ahead to manipulate prices at their discretion. A dream of most giant multi-national groups today. However this may have an immediate reflection to an increased cost of transported goods, and eventually to a monstrous growing of the economy swallowing dragon inflation, which could trigger a 3rd worldwide war, if prudent people stay pathetic. Therefore such unilateral proposal for the use of one only class of fuel products should be unaccepted as illegitimate and totally rejected he stated.
Moreover Mr Kaminis clearly affirmed that it should not be undermined the enormous burdening of the Environment by the excessive emissions of Carbon Dioxide(CO2) produced by the desulphurization of Residual Fuels. The extension of the SECA
areas in the world increases the demand of such production as it is estimated to be 150 million tons of Low Sulphur Fuel by 2010.
Another problem for shipowner and managers concerns the use of Low Sulphur Distilled Fuels by engines that are designed to burn Residual Fuels with a High Sulphur content. According to Mr Kaminis it subsequently transfers a complex problem to their lubrication with unforeseen wear, maintenance and repair cost.
Ships deciding to use both High Sulphur and alternatively Low Sulphur Fuels in SECA areas, they must also use two different types of Lubricating Oils, i.e., TBN 70 and TBN 40. He added that such use will require momentous attention by Ships Engineers, and it will be risky to attempt using TBN 70 at a reduced supply rate with Low Sulphur Fuels, as some Diesel Engine makers suggest. This is where the unforeseen wear problems may occur, as it is impossible for ships Engineers to check and control the lubricant’s film inside the cylinders during engines operation.
There is an alternative way to comply to MARPOL VI and avoid all the above mentioned preoccupations, as suggested by Mr.Kaminis. the proposed solution is the Canadian Exhaust Gas Cleaning System EcoSilencer that ensures a superior protection to the ENVIRONMENT than Distilled Fuels, and it also allows the continued operation of ships engines and boilers with today’s used High Sulphur Residual Fuels and Lubricants for the whole life of ships without a problem. Its operation is simple and it requires minor or no maintenance at all.
EcoSilencer, made by SUPERΒ AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEEL, cleans ships exhaust gases from Sulphur Oxides, Carbon Oxides, Total Hydrocarbons and other harmful combustion compounds, through a proved sea water Scrubbing process and other patented equipment by MES of Canada.
Furthermore the function of such equipment is totally environmental griendly due to the absence of filter and chemicals in order to neutralize the exhausts of engines. The centrifugally collected sludge by the of about 100Β 600 kilos per week depending on size of engines, it is easily collected by shore receivers together with the other oily wastes of the ship. The returned water to the sea from the Scrubber complies with USA EPA criteria.
As far as the costs are concerned he said that :the cost of an installation on a ship under construction is in the area of 2%-4% of the cost of vessel. However, this is amortized in 3-4 years, and thereafter the Shipowner or Manager economizes millions of dollars by continuing to use the regular Fuels up today. And the most important, without disturbing the lubrication practice of their engines, originally designed to burn High Sulphur Residual Fuels. And added that installing the SCRUBBER exhaust system without hesitation to all ships under construction, it would be a wise decision so as to avoid the extra cost of retrofitting it at a later date, because this equipment is going to be a basic term in the time charters. Otherwise, the cost of 1.5% Sulphur Fuels will be almost equal to the cost of Diesel Oils. The blending of Fuels is not as simple as it sounds. Two Scandinavian Shipping Companies were forced to defuel the tanks of their ships due to wrong mixing of fuels.
Mr Kaminis highlighted also the European Union’s role in matter of environmental preservation related to Maritime Industry. He noticed that with the revised European Directive 2005/33 that makes a distinction between Marine Diesel Oils (MDO) and Marine Gas Oils (MGO)? the maximum Sulphur content in MGO will be 0,2% up to January 2008, when it will fall to 0,1%. The limit for MDO was raised from 0,2% to 1,5%, and this enables ships to use such MDO. This means, that European members shall ensure that marine diesel oils are not placed in the market of their territory if the Sulphur content of those marine diesel oils exceeds 1,5% by mass. He mentioned though that although the 1,5% Sulphur MDO can be used to supplement cases where Low Sulphur Residual Fuel is not available, the consequent lubrication and wear problems to main engines is not to be forgotten by Ship Operators and Ship Engineers.
Mr Kaminis said that the involvement of European Committee on Marine Environmental issues is well appreciated, though :when it comes in duplication of decisions by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), it creates misunderstandings and confusion to the Shipping. For example its different date for implementation of SECA areas.
He underlined the importance of when decisions are to be taken and he stated :IMO under the inspired leadership of its General Secretary, Ret. Admiral Efthimios Mitropoulos, is very well managing the Marine Environmental issues, and the best the European Environmental Committee on Marine matters would have to do, is to harmonize its good efforts and decisions in straight line with those of IMO, so as both can better withstand against Industrial influences for the benefit of Environment, and for alleviating Shipping Community’s run to comply with the accumulated new Rules on its shoulders. We must not loose sight of the facts that we are starving for a safe Environment but on the other hand, for a simplified understanding of rules, and an economical transportation of goods.
Mr Kaminis concluded that :”free world would appreciate to see the same happening in future and from the part of the respectful Environmental Protective Administration (EPA) of the United States as well as from the similar respectful organizations of other Countries, which already have the sensitiveness for preservation of the Environment in conjunction with an economical transportation of goods. We all live on a ”single and only one Earth”, and the best we all can do in respect to the Environment Preservation, is to exercise all our good will efforts in order to harmonize all our good decisions and actions for the preservation of the Environmental in a worldwide scale, irrespectively of political, religious or economical differences or interests. For achieving this goal our considered opinion is to let IMO lead the way”.
Note of the writer
Above information is given in good faith in the interest of fairness but with the proviso that the writer does not undertake any responsibility for whatever direct or indirect loss or damage or wounding or any consequential worse happening that could occur with reference to any part of this information.
Maria Stella Balourdou ““ Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide