Researchers at ETH Zurich provide new insights on the emission reduction potential of shore-side electricity using AIS data from FleetMon.
The urgency for climate action expressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demands a rapid market uptake of CO2 reduction measures in all sectors. For international shipping, the European Commission has frequently emphasized the important role of providing shore-side electricity to ships at berth, being a rather simple way of reducing CO2 emissions of ships, but also due to considerable co-benefits: Local air pollution in sea ports is primarily caused by emissions of ships at berth and poses a severe threat for premature mortality on the local residents.
Climate change is shaping to be one of the most prominent threats so far in the 21th century. With the shipping industry being an inextricable part of global logistics, it contributes to about 18 percent of some air pollutants. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), with this in view has adopted regulations to reduce emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). The directive in MARPOL annex 6 to reduce sulfur emissions to 0.5% is currently being enforced since 1st January 2020.
In early 23 July, Germany’s last commercial sailing cargo vessel in service AVONTUUR moored in the port of Hamburg, returning from her 5th journey across the Atlantic maritime traffic route. The captain and 15 crew members had been sailing for over seven months.
“After over 200 days on the high seas without being able to go on shore leaves and with the constant uncertainty in mind caused by the coronavirus, the crew is now looking forward to finally arriving”,
reports owner, shipping operator, and captain Cornelius Bockermann.
FleetMon collaborates with worldwide logistics and shipping companies as well as with federal ministries, port authorities, and independent research institutes. Our extensive network, combined with over 13 years of experience, reveals our expertise and deep insights in vessel tracking and the shipping industry. Of course, FleetMon is aware of Greenhouse gas emissions debate and various parties’ viewpoints concerning the shipping industry’s effects on climate change and worldwide environmental pollution. Rather than to talk, FleetMon actively contributes to supporting transparency of CO2 emissions caused by commercial shipping.
Yesterday all project members of the 1st status meeting of the research project EmissionSEA exchanged information about their previous work. Fraunhofer CML, Wismar University of Applied Sciences, DLR, JAKOTA Design Group and FleetMon are developing a software prototype based on AIS data that determines and evaluates the fuel consumption and thus the CO2 emissions of ships. Another goal is to measure performance in order to make the ships comparable with each other. This is because the CO2 emissions of the ships can be put in relation to the distance covered or the speed curve. By calculating an optimal route and speed, a target/actual comparison is possible, which results in an evaluation of the efficiency and performance of a ship. These values help shipping companies to compare their own fleet with the ships of other operators. The mFund project is scheduled to run until 31.12.2020 and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport with around 1.5 million euros.
Why the project? Since 1 August 2018, shipping companies have been obliged to report their CO2 emissions to the EU. The first report is due in 2 weeks (1 April 2019). The reporting obligation applies to the entire voyage of ships sailing in and through European waters.
Yesterday the local television also visited FleetMon, our project manager Carsten Hilgenfeld explained and answered all the questions about the project. You can get a pictorial insight into the research project in the TV.Rostock Nachrichten. Probably tomorrow at 6 p.m. Switch on or visit their media library https://www.tvrostock.de/mediathek.html.
There was a lot at stake at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) talks held in London in the week after Easter. With global shipping collectively producing more CO2 emissions than Germany, for example, the IMO was discussing proposals to limit and reduce emissions by ships. Their share of global CO2 emissions has been around 2-3% in recent years.
Shipping was excluded from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement because as a global cross-border industry, it is almost impossible to break down individual countries’ contributions. The main driver for the growth of global shipping emissions is the rise of international trade, which is projected to almost double by 2035 and continue growing at around 3% per year until 2050.
On 1 January 2018 a new and mandatory dimension was added to fleet tracking: ship owners are now obliged to monitor CO2 emissions for ships exceeding 5,000 gross tons. There are good reasons.
International shipping is the only means of transportation not included in the EU’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So monitoring CO2 emissions from ships makes environmental sense. In November 2017 an agreement was reached between the European Parliament and Council to establish a mechanism for monitoring, reporting and verifying maritime emissions. The aim of the new regulation is to improve the level of information about maritime CO2 emissions with respect to ships’ fuel consumption, transport work and energy efficiency. This will enable emissions trends and ship performance to be analysed. And in the longer term, the data gathered will allow the EU to “play an influential role in the negotiations within the International Maritime Organisation, with a view to finding ambitious solutions that combine environmental protection with development”, as Gian Luca Galletti, the Italian Environment Minister recently said.
The alarming levels of air pollution in big cities like Delhi or Beijing and “dirty diesels” – emissions of nitrogen oxides from automotive diesel engines – have made many headlines in recent months. But in port cities like Kiel, Hamburg or Rostock there is an additional air pollutant: particulate emissions from ship’s diesels. In the booming segment of cruise shipping – a 10% increase in arrivals in Hamburg alone this year – the focus is increasingly on how emissions from cruise ships’ auxiliary diesel engines can be reduced. During a 10-hour stay in port, the diesel engines of a single cruise ship may well burn 20 metric tons of fuel and produce 60 metric tons of CO2 – about as much as the total annual emissions of 25 average-sized European cars! This problem can be tackled in at least two ways: by supplying cruise ships with shore-side power so the auxiliary engines can be switched off, or powering the vessels with low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The latest report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) woke the world from blindly following the economic frenzy at the expense of the environment. IPCC forecasts read that the global temperature could rise as much as 10F over the next decade.
In this environmental disaster, the maritime industry happens to be a significant contributor. The 4th IMO GHG study states that ships worldwide emitted 1076 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, which accounts for nearly 3% of the global greenhouse emissions . The IMO has been pulling its weight to put a damper on this unchecked emission growth and limit the damage. IMO has come up with its ambitious goal of achieving a 40% reduction in CO2 emission from the 2008 level by 2030 and a massive 70% reduction by 2050 . Pursuing its goal, IMO introduced mechanisms such as EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index ), EEXI (Efficiency Existing Ship Index) and now the latest is the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).
What exactly is the CII ?
In essence, CII measures how efficiently a ship transports its goods or passengers in terms of CO2 emitted. More precisely the CII is the grams of CO2 emitted per ton of cargo transported across every nautical mile. It was one of the regulations adopted by IMO in June 2021 and will come into force from 1st January 2023, covering all cargo, RO Pax, and cruise ships above 5000 GT .
The CII value of a vessel will be evaluated annually and compared to the reference CII values determined by IMO. The emission data of 2019 sets the reference line. Based upon this comparison, the performance of every ship will be rated on a scale of A to E, with A being the best. Achieving the CII rating equivalent to the reference line will land a ship squarely in the middle of the C rating, with better and poorer performances progressively leading to higher or lower ranks. For the start in 2023, the reference line will be set at 5% emission reduction concerning the 2019 level and then gradually move up to 11% reduction by 2027 .
How will CII impact the shipping industry?
With the adoption of guidelines and tools such as the CII, EEXI, SEEMP, etc., IMO is working on reducing the carbon footprint of the maritime industry. However, some industry experts believe that IMO might have been overzealous in reducing emissions. An analysis conducted by ABS using EU-MRV 2019 data suggests, that to 92% of the current container ship fleet, 86% of bulk carriers, 74% of tankers, 80% of gas carriers, and 59% of LNG carriers would require modification and operational changes of some kind to achieve A, B or C energy efficiency rating .
FleetMon in Research & Development: EmissionSEA – Extrapolation of emissions from ships
The ship owner’s struggle
From the above ABS data, it is obvious that a vast number of ships would require retrofitting to achieve favorable CII ratings. Securing finance for such retrofitting will be a challenge for small shipowners who often have older ships as ship finance is rapidly moving towards Environment, Sustainability, and Governance (ESG) goals. The Poseidon principles and the Sea Cargo Charters are essentially frameworks for integrating climate considerations in shipping’s financial decisions. Financing a poorly CII rated ship would increase the risk of the financer as a D-rated vessel today might slip to an E rating tomorrow when CII becomes stringent in coming years .
With the advent of new and troubling climatic phenomena, governments and international organizations all across the world are scrambling for solutions to the increasing carbon and GHG content in the atmosphere. The spillover of this is being felt in the marine industry as well, such as IMO’s 2030 and 2050 goals. Methanol is shaping up to become a promising alternative fuel, as it ticks most of the boxes that shipping operators desire in a fuel of the future. And acceptability of methanol is increasing probably due to the consideration that a perfect fuel that solves all our problems may never be discovered in time.
What Boxes Does Methanol Tick on the Perfect Fuel List?
Methanol has many things going for it but indisputably the most important factor in its favor is the maturity of the technology in handling methanol. Methanol has many uses in production and manufacturing other than it being used as a fuel, such as being used in the production of polymers namely, plastics, paints, varnishes, and cleaning products. All this has put methanol on the list of top 5 transported commodities in the world already, with a remarkable base of knowledge regarding the handling and transport of methanol present. This is a considerable edge over competitors such as Hydrogen and electricity used to drive ships as there is a well-developed infrastructure and supply chain already available for the production and transport of methanol.