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GL Exchange Forum: Environmental updates for the Maritime Industry

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Athens/Greece, 23 January 2012 – GL’s Exchange Forum on “Environmental Updates for the Maritime Industry” looked at the vital task of reducing the maritime industry’s environmental impact. With concern over the international economic situation dominating the headlines, the tendency is for environmental issues to take a back seat. The Forum, however, demonstrated that this goal was not only important in of itself but showed how going green could help the industry to boost its bottom line.

More than 150 representatives from the maritime industry, shipping companies, ship management agencies, maritime journalists and stakeholders met to hear presentations from GL experts and discuss the drivers, implementation and commercial implications of the operational and design challenges facing the maritime industry as it seeks to reduce its environmental footprint, while maintaining a solid commercial footing.

Mr. Athanasios Reisopoulos, Area Manager Southern Europe welcomed the guests and introduced the speakers. Mr. Dimitrios Korkodilos, Managing Director of Andriaki Shipping Co. Ltd and Chairman of the GL Hellenic Technical Committee continued as moderator of the Forum.

Mr. Korkodilos in his opening speech noted that: “The introduction of new environmental regulations that affect ship design and operational aspects has been the main incentive for GL to organize this Forum, together with keeping the Greek shipping community updated on significant developments as well as available tools”.

The more widespread use of LNG as an alternative to conventional shipping fuel has the potential to make an immediate positive impact on the maritime industry’s environmental impact. The elimination of sulphur and nitrous oxide emissions, particulates and a considerable cut in carbon dioxide are factors which make LNG an attractive option. As ever, however, the question must be asked as to how this stacks up economically. In his presentation Dr Pierre C. Sames, GL Senior Vice President Strategic and head of Research & Development, laid out some of the results which have emerged from a GL joint study looking at the costs and benefits of LNG fuelled vessels.

Examining a range of containerships from 2.500 to 18.000 TEU, the study, conducted in cooperation with leading engine manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo, models the cost and payback times of LNG and scrubber systems – calculating a variety of scenarios based on fuel price, investment costs, use of waste heat recovery systems, and route exposure to emission control areas (ECAs). For vessels operating predominately in ECAs (65%) Dr Sames noted that the study suggests that the payback on an LNG system was only two to three years, while for smaller vessels (2.500TEU) the study demonstrates that at a price of 1$/mmBTU less than HFO, LNG becomes the preferred option.

Innovation to reduce the environmental impact of shipping has been spurred by a series of new regulations, both in force and up coming, introduced by both local and international maritime agencies. The 62nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of International Maritime Organization (IMO), in particular brought significant changes to the regulatory landscape in shipping with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Shipboard Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).

In his presentation, Mr. Athanasios Reisopoulos, GL’s Area Manager Southern Europe, examined how recent emission rule changes would challenge the shipping industry. Focusing on the main air pollutants in the exhaust gases of engines, he explained the measures and technologies used in order to reduce emissions from shipping. Having analyzed the effect of the main parameters in the EEDI formula he outlined a number of examples of technical measures aiming at increasing the energy efficiency of ships and reducing CO2 emissions. Last but not least Mr. Reisopoulos presented GL’s zero emission container feeder vessel design concept, powered by liquid hydrogen created by using surplus offshore wind generation capacity.

Irrespective of which fuel a vessel may be using, in both new designs and ships in operation, significant gains in the environmental impact of shipping can be made by maximising efficiencies. Prof. Dr. Ing. Volker Bertram, from GL’s Maritime Solutions unit FutureShip, presented a number of options whereby owners, operators and designers can make use of the advances in integrating computer aided design and computational fluid dynamics to improve vessel efficiency, reduce fuel use, thereby limiting not only emissions but costs.

Mr. Aristidis Efstathiou, Business Development Manager Area Southern Europe, concluded the Forum with his presentations on “Guidelines for compiling a Shipboard Energy Efficiency Management Plan”. Mr. Efstathiou, highlighted the fact that the SEEMP will soon become mandatory for all vessels (larger than 400 GT) at their first IAPP renewal or intermediate survey after 01 January 2013. In order to support its clients, he continued, GL has developed a clear guidance on the form and implementation of the SEEMP. He showed how GL’s user friendly standardized templates and energy management expertise could make it easier for a vessel’s operators to create a SEEMP, either as a stand alone document or as an integral part of a broader management system.

About Germanischer Lloyd – Maritime Services Germanischer Lloyd (GL) offers classification services, plan approval, inspection and certification of materials and components as well as technical assessments for newbuildings and ships in service. GL is dedicated to providing high quality services, which ensure the safety of life and property at sea, and minimise impacts on the marine environment. As a classification society GL is particularly strong in the classification of container ships, multi-purpose vessels, tankers, bulk carriers, high-speed ferries, cruise ships, mega yachts and sports boats. GL currently surveys more than 7200 ships on a regular basis, and GL’s fleet in service now surpasses 100 million GT. GL’s experts serve as advisors to governments, the IMO, flag and port states. The group is committed to a smarter, safer and greener future of shipping. www.gl-group.com

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