BIMCO was again this year well represented at CMA. BIMCO President Yudhishthir Khatau spoke in the opening session and Secretary General Torben Skaanild spoke in a key session on the use of Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).
Too many ships and too many yards – Time to Save YourSelf
BIMCO President Yudhishthir Khatau spoke in the opening session, which covered a wide range of items including piracy and environmental regulatory challenges amongst others. His speech focused on the challenge of too many ships and too many yards. He pointed out that the situation today is characterized by good volumes to be transported but too many ships. Khatau drew attention to the fact that shipyards around the world do not see the current crisis the same way as owners. Whilst owners may by curbing their risk, yards with surplus capacity will go to their national import-export banks and argue about how the yards ensure jobs and growth. Khatau said that in contrast with the SOS campaign regarding piracy it is time for a SYS campaign (Save Yourself) for owners and yards. In another session it was pointed out that yards are even becoming owners building ships for their own account, which is a byproduct of this mentality and of the financing opportunities from these new players. In the opening session Khatau also stressed that the abundance of yards is only a part of the problem and owners had only themselves to blame because the yards themselves had no option but to try to save themselves. Some owners will not have the possibility to build more ships due to financial restrictions. Other owners will be in a financial position to build new ships and focus could be on more energy efficient ships, on sale today at a much lower price today then a few years ago. Yudhishthir Khatau ended his presentation with some consideration and expectations for the immediate future. He believed that less risk will be taken in shipping and there will be more focus on a conservative approach forward. Yards and owners may have differing opinions but will have to find a common way forward.
Piracy – Ransom as a last resort crucial for shipowners
At the opening session a heated debate on piracy also took place and it was even suggested that a stop for ransom would be helpful and that governments were not doing enough. BIMCO Secretary General Torben Skaanild stressed that governments were active but also had double standards, represented by their well known reluctance to deploy military strong enough to crush the piracy infrastructure in Somalia. By not acting robustly enough governments have forced owners to act, said Torben Skaanild. This included armed guards and Best Management Practices (BMP) 4. Torben Skaanild also made clear that, if governments would take away the last resort of paying ransoms to free the crew, the governments would bear the full responsibility for the possible collateral damage to the around 250 seafarers currently held hostage off the Somali Coast.
EEDI – Mad science or?
The moderator of a session on EEDI, Klunkel, introduced the issue by stating that he was in doubt if EEDI was mad science but the session would probably clarify that issue. It was clarified and general support was given to the EEDI even though some had great concerns regarding safety and EEDI due to a risk of building underpowered ships. Secretary General Torben Skaanild participated in this debate on the future use of EEDI, emphasizing BIMCO support of the EEDI for new ships and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships in service. He stated that BIMCO believes that SEEMP will allow shipowners to better optimize their energy consumption, and we are convinced they will do so in their efforts to enhance the operational efficiency of their ships. Fuel is the single highest operational cost factor and this fact alone has already induced shipowners to focus on more energy efficient operations. Parallel to the regulatory developments at IMO, a number of initiatives are seeking to apply the EEDI formula also to existing ships, using speculative data to establish the values. Here Torben Skaanild recommended against the application of EEDI to existing ships, as the values generated by such application can be misleading and can create unintended consequences. The focus for ships in service is – and should continue to be – on operational and commercial efficiencies. The EEDI achieves just that: separating the technical and design-based measures from the operational and commercial ones. The EEDI was developed as a regulatory tool with the objective of mandating improvement in the energy efficiency of new designs by stimulating continued technical development of all the components influencing the fuel efficiency of a ship. Such mandate cannot be applied to ships already in service, as their basic design is not changeable after construction.
(source: BIMCO 22.03.12)