Interferry: low-sulphur timetable ‘mission impossible’

Interferry
Monday, November 28, 2011
Johan Roos, executive director of EU and IMO affairs

Trade association Interferry says that ferry operators in northern Europe face a near-impossible choice in trying to meet the 2015 deadline for ultra-low sulphur emissions from bunker fuel.

 
The association also warns that the low-sulphur legislation will prompt an environmentally damaging modal shift from short-sea to overland transport and pose severe financial implications for the overall European economy. Under pending IMO and soon to be agreed European Union (EU) environmental requirements, vessels operating in the Baltic, North Sea and Channel Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will have to comply with a 0.1% limit on fuel sulphur content.
 

Interferry says it acknowledges ferry operators’ responsibility to reduce emissions and supports the move to lower sulphur limits globally by 2020 - but claims that the 2015 timescale is ‘mission impossible´ due to unsustainable cost increases.  It argues that, despite the ferry industry’s efforts to develop alternative technologies and feasible alternative fuels, abatement technologies and financial support will not be available or sufficient enough to avoid a modal shift from sea to road.  These alternatives are the elements in a ‘toolbox’ of technical and financial solutions proposed by the European Commission (EC).


The toolbox suggests the use of ‘clean’ LNG fuel or, for vessels that continue to run on heavy fuel oil, the use of scrubbers - exhaust gas cleaning systems.  It also points operators towards EU funding initiatives and state aid.  Interferry responds that these are not realistic options because:

 

  • it is widely recognised in Europe that LNG is only an option for new vessels due to the prohibitive cost of converting existing vessels, and in any case the LNG fuel supply infrastructure is inadequate  
  • scrubber technology is not a ‘miracle cure’. The association notes that ferry operators are pleased to have contributed financially and operationally in developing the technology and says it is a solution that seems to be able to remove sulphur particles from the exhaust gases on some ships.  However, a new Interferry feasibility study covering 108 vessels from six leading operators reveals that scrubbers would not be technically or financially viable for 60% of the existing fleet.  Furthermore, trial installations among association members have shown that it will not be possible to have scrubbers in operation in time for 2015 for the other 40%
  • EU funding is virtually non-applicable as it applies largely to newbuilds and new routes – a low priority among operators who have invested heavily in new tonnage in recent years, and who now face a desperate economic climate that also reduces the likelihood of state aid

 

“There is no financial support for existing ferries, while LNG and scrubbers are not feasible,” says Johan Roos, the association’s executive director of EU and IMO affairs.  “In effect, the toolbox is completely empty. Our only option is to use marine gas oil – technically straightforward but very costly and potentially counter-productive in environmental terms. Operators have warned that they will not be able to pass on the 70% or more fuel cost increase to customers with a choice of transport modes, which will inevitably push up to 50% of cargo off short-sea ships and back on to the road network.” He added that, apart from cost, availability is also an issue with MGO, stressing:  “At the very least, the IMO must bring forward its availability review from 2018, as mandated in MARPOL Annex VI, to 2012 or 2013. It’s also clear that the ongoing revision of the EU Directive must put provisions in place as to what should happen if low-sulphur fuel is simply not available to operators in 2015.”
 

Roos conducted the scrubber feasibility study among six Interferry members operating in the north European ECAs - Brittany Ferries, DFDS, Grimaldi Group, P&O Ferries, Stena Line and TT-Line.
 

The conclusion that more than half their existing ships could not be fitted with scrubbers was based on five critical parameters:

 

  • Vessel age and the consequent commercial viability of making a massive technical investment
  • Stability reserves taking into account the weight of scrubber units and how high up the funnel they would be fitted
  • Deadweight reserves and the resulting impact on cargo capacity
  • Casing – because many ferries have very limited void in the ideal funnel casing location and would therefore need special scrubber casing that reduces cargo capacity
  • Whether or not Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology was already fitted to reduce NOx emissions – if so, retrofitting wet exhaust scrubbers would be more challenging as these cool gases to below 100o C compared with temperatures above 400o C  required by SCR     

 

 

The detailed results are being offered to the European Maritime Safety Agency for independent audit and will also be made available to relevant authorities.
 

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Gazprom Transgaz Ufa Organizes Arts Festival

Over 200 healthy children and children with disabilities from Bashkortostan as well as the Volga Region participated in the Breaking the Barriers second interregional children’s arts festival,

President Pryor Retires from ExxonMobil Chemicals

Stephen D. Pryor, president, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation, has elected to retire on January 1, 2015, after more than 44 years of service.

Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi,

Technology

Time-out for Kwanza Drilling

Statoil has decided to cancel the Stena Carron rig contract after fulfilling the work commitments in the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39 in the Kwanza basin offshore Angola.

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Video: Reefer RoRo Ship Design Rebooted

Expanding on the Reefer RoRo Ship design release in September last year, naval architects group Knud E. Hansen A/S has continued the development of the new Reefer RoRo Ship design with version II.

Marine Propulsion

Sea Star Line: Equipment Replacement Plan on Track

Company Receives New Refrigerated Containers and Places Order for New Genset Equipment   Sea Star Line, LLC began receiving the first of its new 100 40’ and 45’

MacGregor's Hatlapa Brand is 95 Today

November 2014 marks the 95th anniversary of MacGregor's Hatlapa brand. Since its foundation in 1919 by German engineer Max Hatlapa, the formerly independent Uetersen-based

Pair of ASD Tugboats Delivered to Keppel-Smit

The ASD tugs KST Passion and KST Pride were were delivered to their owner, Keppel-Smit Towage Pte. Ltd of Singapore in October 2014. The two vessels are the first

Environmental

Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi,

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

Fuels & Lubes

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Cost to Fuel Ships Falls

For a ship that burns 24 tonnes of fuel per day while steaming, fuel costs are reduced by as much as $1 million a year if current price level stay put. Assuming

Belgian Strike to Impact Antwerp Port

A strike in parts of Belgium on Monday is expected to disrupt rail services and one of Europe's largest ports as trade unions and workers voice their anger over

Marine Power

Sea Star Line: Equipment Replacement Plan on Track

Company Receives New Refrigerated Containers and Places Order for New Genset Equipment   Sea Star Line, LLC began receiving the first of its new 100 40’ and 45’

Pair of ASD Tugboats Delivered to Keppel-Smit

The ASD tugs KST Passion and KST Pride were were delivered to their owner, Keppel-Smit Towage Pte. Ltd of Singapore in October 2014. The two vessels are the first

Shell Launches Naturelle Stern Tube Fluid

Shell has launched its new range of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs), including Shell Naturelle S4 Stern Tube Fluid 100.   The Shell Naturelle range

Marine Equipment

Time-out for Kwanza Drilling

Statoil has decided to cancel the Stena Carron rig contract after fulfilling the work commitments in the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39 in the Kwanza basin offshore Angola.

Sea Star Line: Equipment Replacement Plan on Track

Company Receives New Refrigerated Containers and Places Order for New Genset Equipment   Sea Star Line, LLC began receiving the first of its new 100 40’ and 45’

Deepwater Semi-Sub COSL Prospector Delivered

COSLProspector, the fourth deep-water semi-submersible drilling rig built by CIMC Raffles for China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), has been delivered in Yantai, Shandong Province.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3592 sec (3 req/sec)