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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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INTERTANKO backs IMO to set GHG target levels

Association supports the application of an Energy Efficiency Design Index for new ships.

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Updated on 11 Jun 2009 08:03 GMT

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) has announced that it is in favour of the early establishment by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of target levels for the energy efficiency for new ships.

"Setting such targets would become part of the discussions on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships which is currently under consideration by the MEPC. Such targets would help the shipping industry to fit its work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the context of the global reductions which are under discussion at the IMO," INTERTANKO said in a statement.

INTERTANKO added that it is encouraging the IMO to set target levels as the competent international body regulating shipping, rather than having the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference in Copenhagen "dictate" GHG target levels for shipping.

The UK-based association said IMO has already achieved a great deal of progress on both new and existing ships, despite the complexity of the issues involved. "INTERTANKO hopes that the MEPC will maintain the powerful momentum that it has built up on this issue with further developments and agreements at its July meeting," it added.

INTERTANKO said its members have been testing the IMO's Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) formula and "strongly support its application as soon as possible".

For existing ships, INTERTANKO has already developed a draft Ship Energy Management Plan (SEMP) specifically for tankers, based on the IMO's Ship Energy Management Plan guide.

A growing number of INTERTANKO members already apply operational measures aimed at improving ship's fuel efficiency, and the tanker SEMP will aim to facilitate a harmonised and comprehensive recording, monitoring and reporting of the results and to achieve a coordinated, efficient CO2 emissions reduction from tankers in service.

Such operational measures already being actively investigated and applied by the shipping industry include more frequent hull/propeller cleaning, alternative coatings, better route planning, speed management.

INTERTANKO added that tankers have become extremely energy efficient - for every litre of fuel burned in its main engine, today's oil tanker transports its cargo twice as far as the same size ship 20 years ago, it said.

"Achieving further large reductions in carbon emissions is challenging, and particularly hard at a time when the amount of oil transported in the international tanker trade has, up to last year, been growing steadily - the tonne-mile oil trade has increased by 66% this decade compared to the 1980s.

"Therefore, INTERTANKO is working closely with the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) to see how owners can work with charterers to improve ship trading efficiency."

INTERTANKO said it also welcomed the release by OCIMF of its Energy Efficiency and Fuel Management booklet which provides the basis for a voluntary approach between tanker operators and charterers in the joint planning of a ship's voyage with a view to limiting CO2 emissions.

"We are working with OCIMF and others to establish a voluntary EEDI rating system for new ships which can start being used now," INTERTANKO said.

In regards to the possible implementation of Market Based Instruments (MBIs) such as an emissions trading scheme, a bunker levy or an International GHG Compensation Fund to reduce ship emissions, INTERTANKO said it was unclear whether such a move would be feasible in practice due to questions around enforcement, monitoring and lack of compliance when things occur beyond a ship's control.

On the other hand, INTERTANKO said target levels for new ships could be agreed and set in a relatively short time, and "it will be possible in time to agree and set targets for existing ships".

"We believe that setting target levels for the energy efficiency of ships is the best route in practice to achieve tangible emission reductions," INTERTANKO concluded.

INTERTANKO added that it strongly requests that the selection of any MBI be based upon whether the specific proposals meet INTERTANKO's set of principles which were adopted by its Council at its meeting last month in Tokyo, which embody the IMO's nine principles decided at the 57th Marine Environment Protection Committee Meeting (MEPC), and are included in its recent submission to MEPC.

These principles state that a MBI scheme should be:

* Governed by the IMO and be specific for the shipping industry.

* Effective in contributing to the reduction of total GHG emissions.

* Environmentally sustainable without negative impact on global trade and growth.

* Efficient and credible enforcement & monitoring.

In addition, INTERTANKO said it remains wholeheartedly supportive of MARPOL Annex VI on air emissions from ships.

"North America's proposed Emissions Control Area (ECA) is a positive step to further the aims of Annex VI. However we are concerned at the unilateral nature of Europe's marine fuel sulphur Directive and in particular at the requirement for burning maximum 0.1% sulphur fuel at berth from January 2010 contained therein.

"This requirement is not in line with internationally agreed rules and furthermore it is a safety risk. INTERTANKO emphasises the importance of the EU fully aligning itself with international regulation agreed in IMO, and doing so sooner rather than later to avoid operational confusion/unnecessary fuel switching and safety risks."

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