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What does the future hold as we make our first steps to decarbonisation with vessels using alternative fuels, was the su

Thursday, 24 November 2022 | 21:00

Great strides have already been made in a short space of time as the shipping industry navigates its journey to decarbonisation, was a key message that came out of a webinar held by Ship Management International (SMI) and leading maritime safety training provider Stream Marine Technical.

Part of the Stream Marine Training Group (SMG), Stream Marine Technical brought together perspectives from training, classification and insurance, to discuss what lessons have been learnt and how the industry can prepare itself for the ambitious 2050 maritime goals of reducing carbon emissions.

This month it was revealed 80,000 seafarers would need to receive additional training in order to meet the ambitious decarbonisation goals. A new action plan, launched at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt by United Nations organisations, shipowners and unions, has set out recommendations to upskill seafarers to meet shipping’s decarbonisation goals.

CEO of Stream Marine Training Group, Martin White

The webinar panel was made up of Martin White, CEO of the Stream Marine Training Group (SMG), Tony Int’ Hout, Director of Stream Marine Technical, Patrick Lawson-Earley, Technical Authority, New and Alternative Fuels, Stream Marine Technical, Tony Linden, Maritime Area Manager for UK and Ireland at DNV, and Kelly Malynn, ESG Strategy Lead for Marine, Beazley insurance firm.

Tony Int’ Hout, Director at Stream Marine Technical, told delegates the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) targets are to reduce the shipping industry’s CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 70% by 2050.

Two medium-term measures are now coming into effect – the energy efficiency existing index and the carbon emissions Indicator. The Energy Efficiency existing ship Index (EEXI) is a measure introduced by the IMO to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of ships, and the carbon emissions indicator is a rating given based on a vessel’s carbon emissions over a year, he explained.

Patrick Lawson-Earley, Technical Authority, New and Alternative Fuels, Stream Marine Technical

If a vessel does not achieve its rating by the IMO’S timeline for carbon emissions reduction then that vessel will have to be taken out of service, so this is an important step that vessels should be taking now, warned Mr Int’ Hout.

Stream Marine Technical currently run basic and advanced training for fuels covered within the IGF Code, but Mr Lawson-Earley from Stream Marine Technical told delegates he believes there should be more awareness over why crew members need to learn about using alternative fuels.

“Basic training is aimed at safety, which is very reasonable. It is aimed at seafarers serving on vessels using alternative fuels, which mean low flashpoint fuels – LNG, methanol, etc. It looks at care and use and emergency response. It ensures those seafarers serving on the vessels understand the safety aspects of having low flashpoint fuels instead of oil fuels.

Tony Int’ Hout, Director, Stream Marine Technical

“The idea of the IGF Code is to endeavour by risk assessment and regulation to ensure the operation of the vessel is no less safe than a vessel using oil fuels. Although the aim of alternative fuels is to meet the sustainable goals, the training doesn’t really address that,” Mr Lawson-Earley said.

Mr Linden from classification society DNV said the industry has already made great strides towards a decarbonised future, and it has already embarked on its transition period. The share of new ships using alternative fuels has tripled since 2019, with 1,046 ships using alternative fuels currently on order, he revealed.

However, the industry is still a long way off from having fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia fuel vessels in the fleet, with DNV predicting they will not be available until at least 2030.

“What we can see in the next few years is that people will continue with transitional fuels as they take you some way to energy efficiency onboard so that is most notably LNG. The next fuel coming down the line is ammonia, particularly for deep sea shipping,” Mr Linden explained.

Ms Malynn from insurance firm Beazley told the webinar, for the insurance sector it is important that shipowners and operators focus on safety, and this will ultimately reduce the number of claims.

“I’m hoping safety management and training will be embedded. We know that regulation will be behind innovations and development. What I’m hoping is that the insurance market can feed into that by understanding what’s on order and understanding the difficulties and nuances of different fuel types.”
Source: SMT

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