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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

INTERTANKO at the China Logistics conference in Beijing

Tanker safety performance and the regulatory environment, and the phase-out of single-hull tankers, were on the agenda at the China Logistics conference in Beijing this week. As a guest of IBC Asia Ltd., INTERTANKO’s Manager Research and Project Section, Erik Ranheim, made two presentations to senior people from China’s tanker companies and administration. 

His first presentation was on tanker safety performance and the regulatory environment. He presented graphs showing the strong decline in casualties and oil pollution and pointed out that this decline started at a time when the average age of tankers was increasing, as well as trade volumes. Tanker safety has now reached such a high level that an analytical approach was necessary to effect further improvements, he continued, adding that more regulation and control, without good reason, might be counterproductive as this could lead to a compliance culture with excessive bureaucracy, and a lack of motivation and flexibility to improve and innovate. 

He detailed the current regulatory environment and explained the main new and pending regulations including ballast water management, Annex VI, Common Structural Rules, as well as outlining INTERTANKO’s position on liability and criminalisation. 

Ranheim’s second presentation concentrated on single hull tanker phase-out. He gave an overview of the market where crude oil imports to China represent about 8% of the total crude oil tanker trade. He emphasised that the tight refinery situation could limit the growth of both global and Chinese oil demand. If oil demand increases by some 1.8% globally and 5.5% in China, then even if current refinery projects are taken into account, oil demand is set to exceed refinery capacity. This may lead to higher prices and reduced demand. 

He added that figures from Fearnleys for the first half of 2005 show that the proportion of single hull tankers trading to China is higher than the world average – standing at 37% (down from 40% in 2004) for VLCCs and 66% (up from 64% in 2004) for tankers 50,000-200,000 dwt.  

Ranheim’s PowerPoint presentations will be placed on the INTERTANKO web early next week at: http://www.intertanko.com/about/presentations/. In the meantime they can be obtained from Erik Ranheim  

Contact: Erik Ranheim