Namely during gmec there were three different panel discussions, exploring the topics “Preparing for Ballast Water Treatment”, “Dealing with the environmental challenges of the future”, and “The passenger shipping industry as an environmental pioneer”, respectively.

Regarding ballast water the participants agreed that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ system for all ships but that the range of available systems had evolved considerably. For this reason, it is important for shipowners to receive more support in both, selecting the right systems and operating them.

Tim Wilkins, Environment Director at Intertanko, said:

It is essential that information is exchanged to overcome the technical and regulatory issues the industry is encountering on a daily basis“, said Tim Wilkins.

As for greenhouse gases, the discussion focused around solutions to reduce them. Currently, the share of ocean shipping in global CO2 emissions is currently 2.2%. According to forecasts, however, this share is going to increase over the coming years. Thus, solutions are needed urgently, such as LNG, but there is lack of functioning infrastructure to deliver LNG directly to the ship, highlighted DNV GL executive Jan-Olaf Probst.

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For shipowners, the stricter emission limits not only translate to extra costs for filter technologies but also imply the need to switch to alternative propulsion technologies in the medium term. The discussion also addressed the effects of Slow Steaming as well as the opportunities of digitalisation.

Finally, as far as passenger vessels are concerned, its sector has taken the lead in environment protection. Nevertheless, the panel discussed current and future challenges.

Specifically, MSC CEO Bud Darr said that there many challenges, but the fact that many passenger ships are using hybrid propulsion systems,shore power while berthing, or LNG barges is optimistic.

The example of AIDAnova is indicative of this, as it will be the world's first cruise ship operating nearly 100% with LNG.