Need for improvement, waves of regulation and optimism
Need for improvement, waves of regulation and optimism: Sam Jha is Chief Product Officer at Alpha Auri Technologies (AOT), a digital transformation company.
The shipping industry, like others, is facing increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and decarbonize its operations. Despite some efforts by companies and organizations, overall emissions from the industry have steadily increased in recent years. A major reason for this is the use of heavy fuel oil, which is cheap and readily available but is not considered an environmentally friendly alternative.
However, things are about to change as many regulatory bodies have issued numerous regulations affecting ship operators and ship operators must take steps to compete in the industry.
How do the new regulations affect the marine industry?
Besides the use of oil with high emission levels, there are several other factors that make it difficult to coordinate efforts and enforce regulations due to the involvement of different companies and countries. However, the situation is changing as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other regulatory bodies have introduced a large number of regulations in the recent past, some of which are effective from January 2023.
There are several new regulations regarding decarbonization in the shipping industry that ship operators should be aware of. One of the most notable is the IMO’s 2020 sulfur limit, which limits the sulfur content of ships to 0.5% in an effort to reduce air pollution. The IMO has also set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% below 2008 levels by 2050 and is working on developing strategies to achieve this target. . Also, California’s Advanced Clean Transit (ACT) regulation; EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV); European Union Sulfur Emissions Control Area (SECA); with similar regulations applied by other countries.
In addition to the 2020 IMO standards, ship owners should be aware of the existing Ship Energy Efficiency Index (EEXI) standards that will come into effect in 2025. Increase their efficiency and reduce their emissions.
Ships must report their EEXI scores every five years, with the first report due in 2025. EEXI reporting requirements will change over time and more stringent requirements will be introduced in the future.
How can the maritime industry respond to the new regulations?
As a vessel owner and operator, it is important to take steps to understand and comply with these new regulations. Some of the main ways to do this are to switch to low sulfur fuels or to install scrubbers on ships to remove sulfur from the fuel before it is burned.
Using low sulfur fuel is the easiest way to comply with the new regulations. However, it can be more expensive than conventional high-sulfur fuel, so cost must be considered when making the switch. Also, low sulfur fuel may not be available in all ports, so it is important to plan ahead and ensure that the necessary fuel is available when the ship is in port.
Another option is to install washers on ships. A washer is a device that removes sulfur from the fuel before it is burned. This can be a cost-effective solution, but requires an initial investment in equipment and installation. Also, there may be some restrictions on where scrubber vessels can operate, so it’s important to check with local authorities before installing them.
In addition, ship owners should prepare for the EEXI regulations when monitoring the energy performance of their ships. They should also develop a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) and invest in new technology and equipment that can help improve energy efficiency.
Hope for the future
The future of decarbonisation in the shipping industry looks bright. With increasing pressure from governments and the public to reduce emissions and combat climate change, ship operators are investing in new technologies and innovations that help them operate more sustainably. The shipping industry is also currently undertaking various decarbonisation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
- Use of alternative propulsion fuels such as LNG as well as biofuels, hydrogen and ammonia.
- Energy efficient technology.
- Carbon pricing.
- Electric and hybrid drivetrains that can reduce emissions.
- Electric propulsion with battery and fuel cell.
- Carbon Offset – Some shipping companies plan to purchase carbon offset credits to offset their emissions and neutralize their carbon footprints.
- Digitalization: Use of digital twin technology, IoT sensors and AI algorithms to improve ship efficiency and reduce fuel requirements.
- Greater collaboration: Finally, there has been increased collaboration between industry, governments and research organizations to develop and implement decarbonisation strategies for industry.
Overall, the shipping industry is making significant progress in decarbonization efforts. With continued investment in new technologies and innovations, we will see even more advancements in the future.