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MEPC to discuss deferring 0.5% rule to 2025

IMO committee meets to consider deferring the requirement for all ships to use fuel oil with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to 2025.



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Updated on 01 Oct 2012 10:17 GMT

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meets today for its 64th session at IMO Headquarters [pictured] in London. The meeting will take place over five days between 1-5 October 2012.

As well as discussing matters relating to market-based measures and the implementation of energy efficiency measures, the MEPC will also consider deferring the requirement for all ships to use fuel oil with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to 2025.

Availability of fuel oil to meet air pollution requirements to be considered

The MEPC will further consider matters relating to the availability of fuel oil to meet the requirements set out in the MARPOL Annex VI regulation on emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) from ships.

Fuel oil sulphur content (expressed in terms of % m/m – that is, by weight) 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 1 January 2020. Depending on the outcome of a review, to be completed by 2018, as to the availability of compliant fuel oil, this requirement could be deferred to 1 January 2025.

The MEPC is expected to consider the start date for this review.

It should be noted that, within ECAs, fuel oil sulphur content (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 1 January 2015.

Market-based measures to address the reduction of GHGs under discussion

The MEPC is expected to continue its consideration of proposed market-based measures (MBMs) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which would complement the technical and operational measures already adopted.

It is anticipated that the discussions at MEPC will focus on an update of the GHG emissions’ estimate for international shipping and the methodology and criteria for a comprehensive impact assessment of the MBM proposals (following earlier, initial impact assessments), with a view to studying in detail the direct and indirect impacts on (consumers and industries in) developing countries of the introduction, and non-introduction, of an MBM for international shipping under the auspices of IMO.

Work to continue on energy efficiency measures for ships

The MEPC is expected to continue its work on further developing technical and operational measures relating to energy efficiency measures for ships, based on a work plan agreed at the last session. This follows the adoption of the new chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, which enters into force on 1 January 2013 and includes new requirements mandating the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships.

This work will include the development of guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power and speed to enable safe manoeuvring in adverse weather conditions and the development of EEDI frameworks for ships not covered by the current EEDI, e.g., ro-ro and cruise passenger ships, and ships with non-conventional propulsion systems, e.g., diesel-electric or turbine propulsion. This work is expected to continue at this session, based on submissions received.

Technical cooperation for the implementation of mandatory energy efficiency measures

Regulation 23 of chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI on Promotion of technical cooperation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships requires administrations, in co-operation with the IMO and other international bodies, to promote and provide, as appropriate, support directly or through IMO to states, especially developing States, that request technical assistance.

It also requires the administration of a party to MARPOL Annex VI to co-operate actively with other parties, subject to its national laws, regulations and policies, to promote the development and transfer of technology and exchange of information to States which request technical assistance, particularly developing States.

The MEPC will further consider a draft MEPC resolution on promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships. The resolution is intended to provide a framework aimed at promoting and facilitating technology transfer, to support the implementation of the new regulations on energy efficiency for ships.







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