The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) met for its 67th session at IMO Headquarters in London last week.
The Third IMO GHG Study 2014 estimates that international shipping emitted 796 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2012, against 885 million tonnes in 2007. This represented 2.2% of the global emissions of CO2 in 2012, against 2.8% in 2007.
However, the “business as usual” scenarios continue to indicate that those emissions are likely to grow by between 50% and 250% in the period to 2050, depending on future economic and energy developments.
IMO in 2011 adopted mandatory measures to address energy efficiency of international shipping, which entered into force on 1st January 2013 under Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI. These Regulations on energy efficiency for ships, make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships.
The MEPC continued its work on further developing guidelines to support the uniform implementation of the regulations on energy-efficiency for ships. During the session, the MEPC adopted the 2014 Guidelines on survey and certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), updating the previous version to include, for example, identification of the primary fuel for the calculation of the attained EEDI for ships fitted with dual-fuel engines using LNG and liquid fuel oil.
The MEPC also adopted amendments to the 2013 Interim Guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions, to make the guidelines applicable to phase 1 (starting 1st January 2015) of the EEDI requirements.
A correspondence group was established to review the status of technological developments relevant to implementing phase 2 of the EEDI regulatory framework. Regulation 21.6 of MARPOL Annex VI requires, at the beginning of phase 1, the Organization to “review the status of technological developments and, if proven necessary, amend the time periods, the EEDI reference line parameters for relevant ship types and reduction rates set out in this regulation”.
The MEPC agreed, in principle, to develop a data collection system for ships and, having agreed on the general description of the data collection system for fuel consumption of ships, agreed to the re-establishment of an intersessional correspondence group to develop full language for the data collection system for fuel consumption that can be readily used for voluntary or mandatory application of the system. The core elements of the data collection system include: data collection by ships, flag state functions in relation to data collection and establishment of a centralized database by the Organization.
The MEPC reviewed a progress report from the correspondence group which had been instructed to develop a draft framework for a methodology to examine whether sufficient fuel meeting the requirements set out in regulation 14 (Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and Particulate Matter) of MARPOL Annex VI is likely to be available by the effective date of those requirements, taking into account the global market supply and demand for fuel oil, trends in fuel oil markets, and any other relevant issues.
The group had developed a preliminary draft methodology framework and was instructed to continue its work and submit a final report to MEPC 68.
The sulphur content (expressed in terms of % m/m – that is, by weight) of fuel oil used onboard ships is required to be a maximum of 3.50% m/m (outside an Emission Control Area (ECA)), falling to 0.50% m/m on and after 1st January 2020. Depending on the outcome of the review, to be completed by 2018, as to the availability of compliant fuel oil, this requirement could be deferred to 1st January 2025.
Within ECAs, the sulphur content of fuel oil (expressed in terms of % m/m: that is, by weight) must be no more than 1.00% m/m; falling to 0.10% m/m on and after 1st January 2015.
Following discussion on fuel oil quality, a correspondence group was established to develop draft guidance on quality-assurance for fuel oil delivered for use onboard ships and to consider the adequacy of the current legal framework in MARPOL Annex VI in relation to fuel oil quality. The group will report to MEPC 68.