New regulations regarding low-sulphur ship fuel, decarbonisation, and ballast water management have moved environment protection to the top of the maritime industry’s agenda. This topic will feature prominently at SMM, which will take place in Hamburg from 4 to 7 September. Numerous exhibitors will present green technologies, and experts will discuss current trends.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced its targets of reducing GHG emissions from global shipping in half by the year 2050, and to make ships CO2-neutral before 2100. But before that, the sulphur cap will take effect; From 2020 all oceangoing ships must use fuel that contains no more than 0.5% of sulphur. According to estimates by DNV GL, up to 70,000 ships will be subject to this requirement. Shipowners must make investment decisions regarding propulsion technologies and exhaust gas cleaning systems. Additional investments are also necessary for ballast water management.
Alternative technologies – technology alternatives
At SMM, manufacturers will present low-emission propulsion solutions. Of particular interest is LNG, which is considered as an ideal transitional technology on the way to zero-emission shipping. While ferries and passenger ships pioneered the technology, container ship owners have followed, ordering numerous LNG-powered container vessels. Meanwhile the bunkering infrastructure is taking shape, as well, and more and more ports can call themselves “LNG ready”. For the existing fleet however, retrofitting LNG equipment and machinery is frequently unfeasible for financial reasons. Scrubbers can be a viable alternative for ships in operation.
According to experts, the enormous demand for ballast water management systems may lead to supply shortages in the medium term. The roster of SMM exhibitors includes all the leading vendors whose systems have been vetted and certified by IMO and the US Coast Guard.
Innovative products, fascinating conferences
Sustainability is one of the overarching topics of this year’s SMM. Environmental issues will be discussed in many of the subject-specific conferences, as well, first and foremost at the gmec on 5 September. Under the motto “Compliance – Control – Champions”, all panel discussions will regard challenges resulting from stricter environmental regulations.
In addition, experts will explore the cruise industry which takes a leading role in environmental protection. The discussion at the Offshore Dialogue on 6 September will focus on ways to mine deep-sea mineral deposits without harming the environment. In addition, the participants will examine what requirements ships should meet in ecologically highly sensitive regions such as the Arctic.