GL Exchange Forum Szczecin: Managing Environmental Obligations in Shipboard Operations
Szczecin/Poland, 4 April 2012 – The challenges of preparing to meet the next generation of shipping regulations were very much on the minds of the participants at Germanischer Lloyd’s (GL) latest exchange forum in Szczecin, Poland. Reducing the impact of global shipping on the environment and making improvements in efficiency are the focus of looming legislation that over the next few years, seems certain to change the maritime landscape.
More than 40 representatives from the maritime industry, shipping companies, ship management agencies, maritime journalists and stakeholders met to hear presentations from GL experts and discuss how the incoming regulations would impact upon the industry. Presentations examined the regulations in terms of their implementation, commercial implications, operational and design challenges, and how the shipping community must step up to prepare for their introduction sooner rather than later.
The Ballast Water Convention requires the further ratification of countries representing only 8% of global gross tonnage before it will enter into force, said Christopher Peickert, GL’s Deputy Head of the Stability Department. Mr Peickert looked at the requirements of the regulation and at the many methods of treatment and systems available to shipowners and builders. Every vessel would need to have a Ballast Water Management (BWM) Plan prepared by a shipyard or design office, he noted.
To aid ship-owners GL has issued a guidance paper for Ballast Water Treatment Systems and a BWM Model Booklet is also available for GL customers. There are about 40 ballast water treatment manufacturers in the market, Mr Peickert said, and about 10 systems with full certification approval. The majority of manufacturers have designed their systems in modules to serve retrofitting requirements in narrow engine rooms as well as to cope with the need to treat high volumes when systems can run in parallel assembly. GL provides consulting services to owners and shipyards on spare space and additional power supply in the engine room in order to accommodate a possible retrofit of ballast water treatment systems.
Mr Peickert looked at the various critical parameters for selecting a system which was appropriate for an individual vessel and gave the attendees an overview of these parameters as regards particular vessel types. The selection of a system was dependent not only on the ship type, but also on the route, he noted, with sea water temperature, salinity, sediment load and the availability of spare parts and the active substances used in a system key factors to consider. Björn Pape, from GL’s consulting subsidiary FutureShip, examined the class and regulatory requirements for the conversion of vessels to utilise scrubber technology. Mr Pape looked at conversions where both wet and dry scrubber systems had been installed. He examined Wärtislla’s first full-scale SOx (sulphur oxide) scrubber installation on the GL classed “Containerships VII”, which was completed in August 2011, and their solutions both for scrubbers and for wash water processing.
Mr Pape also went on to lay out the process, installation and logistical use of dry scrubber technology, showing how the systems had been integrated into several vessel types and the disposal options for the gypsum that remains as a waste product of the scrubbing process. The safety considerations, class rules and monitoring requirements were laid out by Mr Pape, who noted that Class rules did not require Wet Scrubber Systems to have a scrubber bypass system, as long as the complete system is made of non-combustible material and that the bypass system may be dispensed with in the event an EGCS is installed on a multi-engine plant.
Dry scrubbers, he suggested, may require draft fans in order not to exceed the allowable exhaust gas back pressure, specified by the engine manufacturer for all load cases. 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 adoption of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Shipboard Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).
Set to enter into force in 2013 the regulations are designed to spur innovation in both ship design and operation to reduce the environmental impact of shipping on a global level. With bunker prices having ballooned over the last few years and being predicted to double again over the lifetime of today’s vessels, reducing fuel consumption, which accounts for between 30 to 60% of total shipping costs, is the key to prospering long term in the industry.
Kay Dausendschön, from FutureShip, looked at how the mandatory introduction of the SEEMP could be an opportunity to make significant gains in energy efficiency. Mr Dausendschön presented a case study of a tanker operator who was managing a fleet of relatively young and energy efficient vessels. He showed how through consulting with FutureShip on the preparation of a four phase energy management plan for improving processes across the fleet, the client was able to realise savings of several million US dollars, through introducing operational measures to improve efficiency.
Not only did this create significant bunker savings, Mr Dausendschön pointed out, but also formed the foundation for effective performance management through the establishment of new reporting formats and KPIs for engine performance and consumption, and was also a starting point for condition based maintenance, as the project triggered internal efforts to redefine the client’s maintenance concept. The EEDI, which will come into force in 2013, seeks to spur design innovation in ship building, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.
Jarle Saga Blomhoff, from FutureShip, laid out the technical details and requirements of the EEDI and noted that vessels built today could, if the stepwise tightening of the requirements takes place as planned, be competing with vessels that could be as much as 30% more fuel efficient. He presented GL’s voluntary EEDI “Statement of Compliance” service and showed how the EEDI could be used as an attractive index for benchmarking the energy efficiency strengths and weaknesses of a particular fleet or vessels in the same segment, quickly assess the fuel efficiency of vessels to charter, and to promote environmental achievements to customers and the general public.
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