[ID] => 10771
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-03-20 10:31:48
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-20 10:31:48
[post_content] => There has been an ‘E’ in ‘SHEQ’ for decades now, so there can be few companies that do not give at least some thought to the impact of their operations on the environment. The next few years will, though, see a strengthening of the requirements to consider the environmental impact of industrial operations – including transport operations.
These changes are the fallout from the Paris Agreement, signed in December 2015, which set targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also encouraged countries around the world to examine how they will prepare for climate change.
In the maritime world, shipowners are facing a major change next year, with the introduction by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of new restrictions on the sulphur content of marine fuel – or, at least, the restriction of sulphur oxide content in exhaust streams, which can equally be achieved by means of exhaust gas scrubbers or the use of other fuels such as LNG or LPG.
To a large extent, environmental controls imposed on industry and the transport sector thus far have often proved to include a financial pay-off for those involved. After all, if the aim of a rule is to make operations more energy-efficient, then it means that the same amount of work can be done at a lower cost.
The IMO 2020 rule, as it is widely known, is different. Shipowners will, one way or another, have to pay but will not get any return. The cost of installing scrubbers or buying higher-priced low-sulphur fuel will not make their ships any more energy-efficient or faster, so the same work will be done at a higher cost.
And IMO 2020 is just the first step. IMO has agreed to address GHG emissions, taking a phased approach. GHG emissions will have to be reduced sharply from 2030 onwards (now ‘IMO 2030’) and eliminated altogether by 2050 (‘IMO 2050’). Those targets are not going to be met by using hydrocarbon fuels, as they target carbon dioxide in particular, and IMO 2030 will probably mean restrictions on steaming speeds. By 2050, though, shipowners will have to be looking at innovative fuels such as hydrogen (probably in the form of fuel cells) or ammonia – two potential fuels that contain no carbon in their atoms.
There are two implications for this. Firstly, the IMO 2020 provisions are merely a stopgap. The costly alterations that shipowners (and refiners and bunker suppliers) are having to put in will be only temporary. Secondly, given that ships are built to last for 20 years at least, shipowners placing newbuilding orders today will have to have one eye on how they are going to operate those ships in a post-2030 environment. Within the next decade they will have to start looking at how they will meet the 2050 restrictions – potentially relying on technology that has not yet been developed, at least to an operational level.
Speaking recently at the Chemical & Parcel Tanker Conference in London, IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim stressed the importance of these changes. IMO has been firm with the 2020 deadline and owners have to expect the 2030 and 2050 deadlines to be similarly unmovable.
We are moving into a different world in terms of environmental protection and, in this world, there is no sign that those affected will be able to benefit from cost savings.
[post_title] => Decarbonised letter from the editor
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => decarbonised-letter-editor
[post_modified] => 2019-03-20 10:33:29
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-20 10:33:29
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10771
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[post_type] => post
[comment_count] => 0
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