Owners and EMSA disagree at industry convention
The IBIA Convention in Barcelona opened on Tuesday with two keynote speakers putting forward opposing views on impact of the 2015 0.1% sulphur cap in emission control areas (ECAs). Manuel Carlier, director general of the Spanish Shipowners’ Association (ANAVE), and a director of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA), put forward owners’ concerns. Arnaud Leroy Senior Project officer European Maritime Safety Agency, and working with the European Commission (ECs) on the Marine Fuels countered with the case for continuing with its proposals which in some respects exceed IMO ECA requirements.
Mr Carlier said that it was likely that bunker costs for ship operators would increase by between 70% and 100% while operating in ECAs and that there would be a total increase in operating costs 25% to 40%. He asked: “Can this cost be passed to customers in the freight market?
He said that while scrubber equipment suppliers claimed success in pilot applications and tests installing this equipment would only be cost efficient for new ships operating exclusively or mainly in ECAs.
He noted the possibility of using LNG and that dual fuel engines had proved successful in large LNG tankers. He said that the methane slip problem was easy to solve in high-pressure dual engines but there were problems to meeting Marpol Annex VI’s Tier III NOx limits. He noted that retrofitting was relatively easy in large slow-speed engines but more complex and expensive for medium speed engines
He was particularly concerned about the effects on shortsea shipping and pointed to a recent Finnish study which predicted increase sea freight rates in the range 25 – 40 % and and ISL study on the Bremen Baltic route which forecast a 46% loss of traffic with 604,000 trailers and 820,000 containers shifted to road
He accepted that the EC now proposes to give priority in the use of EU funds (Marco Polo II, TEN-T) and financing (EIB) to finance studies and pilot projects on scrubbers, LNG as bunker and shoreside electricity. It also proposed allowing member states to grant subsides for the same purposes. But, he said, in short term, the EU funds would only help a few dozen ships while thousands would be affected. It was not realistic, said to expect states to subsidise short sea shipping in the current economic climate.
Mr Leroy emphasised the need to enforce regulations and also pointed to claimed environmental and health benefits of imposing stricter sulphur limits. He also pointed to uncertainties surrounding the impact of the 0.1 sulphur cap. He was particularly doubtful about predictions of a modal shift away from shipping.
He said: “Overall, the various studies offer differing conclusions as to whether a modal shift is imminent, which may in part, but not entirely, be explained by the difference in routes selected for their analyses. While the Swedish, German and ECSA studies in their high price scenario mainly foresee a substantial shift from short sea shipping to land-based modes, the COMPASS study acknowledges that there will be a cost increase and a change in transport volumes, but concludes that ‘it is not expected that changes in entry/exit points or shifts in modal balance (SSS to land) will take place’.”
Source: World Bunkering