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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Greek Shipping Summit is updated by INTERTANKO on air emissions, and by INTERCARGO on bulk carrier loading pressures

A clear condensed summary of the options available to the shipping industry on air emissions was given by INTERTANKO’s Managing Director, Dr. Peter Swift, at the Greek Shipping Summit organised this week in Athens by Seatrade and Tradewinds.


Swift demonstrated two simple choices – continue burning heavy fuel oil with emissions abatement technology, or switch to cleaner (distillate) fuels, either on a global basis or on a regional basis. He also showed how the distillate option offers reductions of 80-90% in sulphur oxide (SOx), 10-15% in nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 90% in Particulate Matter (PM) emissions.


He emphasised how options other than the distillate option end up imposing a further burden on ships’ crew – either from operating scrubbers and handling their waste streams and waste products; or from complications and confusion over different regional requirements and/or different implementation dates; or from multi fuel requirements. Even the emissions trading option could impose a burden on the crew because of measurement, monitoring and verification requirements for SOx, NOx and PM emissions.  He also demonstrated the positive benefits of reduced CO2 emissions that low sulphur distillates provide in contrast to other solutions.  


While the distillate option is accepted by most as being the ideal long-term solution, many point to issues complicating the picture in the shorter term – availability of distillate fuels; the price of distillate fuels and the price of abatement technology; achieving a holistic approach; and leaving open options for other solutions. “However if we pursue other options, will the ship owners actually have any choice in the end or will refiners be the only ones left with options ?” asked Swift. “The distillate solution addresses the root cause of air pollution from ships. Cleaner fuel for cleaner air!”


Swift's presentation can be viewed here or on the INTERTANKO web site at Intertanko Presentations.


Swift’s comments on overburdening ships’ crews complemented comments made earlier by Anangel Maritime’s Managing Director, John Platsidakis, to the effect that the great attention given by the industry to its assets, as it has invested in new tonnage, has not extended in one direction – to its humans assets. "As an industry we entrust our new ships to people we hardly know,” he said. “We all know that there is a problem there but we fall short in coming up with solutions. Young people don’t consider shipping an attractive career given today’s high standard of living? I strongly reject that. It’s an excuse. We need to attract people into our industry.”


Earlier, INTERCARGO’s Secretary General Roger Holt had given delegates a fascinating insight into the pressures placed on bulk carriers to load heavy ore cargoes as quickly as possible. “The pressure on ship and master to get quickly out of port is getting intolerable.” He explained how shear forces experienced by the hull at sea can come remarkably close to operating limits, making careful loading essential. “Bulker hulls are strong. But if  the hull is constantly abused for years, do we understand what is happening to the structure long-term?” he asked.


The next Greek Shipping Summit will take place in Athens in autumn 2008.


Contact: Bill Box