David Black of The National from Abu Dhabi gives a good account of the shipping industry and a recent study that shows the gains that will be made in the upcoming years. Given the importance of global shipping, this is welcome news.
Ships ‘to become more energy efficient’
Merchant ships sliding down the slipways in 2020 will emit up to 35 per cent less carbon dioxide than ships today, and up to a third of them will be fitted with exhaust gas recovery systems by 2016, according to a leading ship classification society.
The latest research by the Norwegian-based Det Norske Veritas (DNV), its Shipping 2020 Report, is the result of a comprehensive study predicting the developments in the world’s merchant fleet over the next eight years, and beyond.
Based on expected fluctuations in global trade, regulatory changes, fuel prices, cost and availability of new technology and shipowner requirements, the model explores the technologies with the best payoff that will also ensure compliance with the relevant environmental requirements.
The report acknowledges that economic power is shifting to Asia, and that will have an impact on trade routes and the demand for vessels. Gas and oil prices will fluctuate, and shale gas, as it comes on line, will change the way we look at energy.
“With the world economy in a fragile condition, it is not only financial analysts, bankers and policymakers who want to know what the world will look like towards the end of this decade. The shipping community is, quite rightly, asking the same questions,” said Tor Svensen, the president of DNV Maritime and Oil and Gas. “Our objective is to share our views on technology uptake towards 2020, and beyond, and to stimulate both discussion and correct decision-making.”
It predicts that regulatory changes already in the pipeline from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations body responsible for the marine environment, will have major impacts on the ships that will be built.
New global sulphur oxide emissions limits will see increasing use of “scrubbers” to clean engine exhaust, and although the ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention has been delayed, that will merely create a larger backlog of technology orders. The convention is designed to prevent polluted ballast water being released, and the inadvertent transfer of alien marine life posing ecological threats to local marine environments.
Also, amendments to the IMO’s Marpol Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, scheduled to enter into force on January 1, will make mandatory energy efficiency for ships under its Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which will apply to new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan for existing vessels.
“The EEDI regulation requires all new buildings by 2025 to be 35 per cent more energy efficient than today’s average ship,” noted the report.
“This will drive implementation of energy efficiency measures and the use of LNG as fuel. The question remains whether ship owners will press ahead of the EEDI schedule and start building these ships today. What is certain is the new emission controls and the energy efficiency design requirements that will soon enter into force will all have a profound effect on the shipping industry’s uptake of new technologies.”