Arctic

PPR 6 starts discussions with focus on 2020 sulphur cap

IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response meets this week, from 18 to 22 February at IMO headquarters. The meeting will focus on finalizing draft Guidelines on the implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI. The Guidelines aim to help the preparations for uniform implementation of the lower limit for sulphur content in ships’ fuel oil.

Clean Arctic Alliance: PPR 6 must focus on Arctic HFO ban

As the meeting of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6) opens today in London, the Clean Arctic Alliance called on Member States to give emphasis to the target of establishing a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil by shipping in the Arctic. The actual adoption of the ban is expected to take place on 2021, with the industry making its decision on what fuels it will use during 2022. The ban will apply in 2023.

Glacial melt sand could improve Greenland’s economy, study finds

As climate change melts Greenland’s glaciers and deposits more river sediment on its shores, researchers identified an unexpected economic opportunity for the Arctic nation. Namely, exporting excess sand and gravel abroad, where raw materials for infrastructure are in high demand. This solution was developed by scientists from CU Boulder, the University of Copenhagen, Arizona State University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Infographic: The story of Arctic HFO ban so far

Due to the important risks around HFO, the international shipping community banned its use and carriage by ships around Antarctica in 2011. To describe the process of what have been done and what will be done in the future, the Clean Arctic Alliance published an infographic. A ban on HFO in the Arctic was considered in 2013 during the deliberations on the IMO Polar Code.

IMO Sub-Committee to conduct its Pollution Prevention and Response meeting

IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) will conduct a meeting on 18 to 22 February to IMO’s headquarters, London. IMO’s agenda includes MARPOL Annex VI guidelines, safety measures on reducing the risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil, as well as measures aiming to decrease the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping. 

Former CEO of Alaska-based telecom firm pleads guilty to fraud

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, former CEO of a telecommunications company based in Alaska, pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The plea related to a scheme to use forged guaranteed revenue contracts fraudulently to induce investors to invest more than $250 million into her company for construction of a fiber optic cable network in Alaska. 

Weddell Sea Expedition reaches last known site of Shackleton’s lost ship

The Weddell Sea Expedition 2019 and the icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II have reached the last known location of Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated ship, the Endurance, which was crushed by the ice and sunk in 1915. The director of the expedition, Mensun Bound, reported that him and his team are the first to reach the area since Shackleton and his crew. 

Insight on Polar Vortex breakdown

Polar Vortex, a pattern of high-altitude winds in the Arctic, weakened resulting to frigid air over North America and Europe in the second half of January 2019. Although the Arctic ice sea extent remained below average, temperatures in the far north were closer to average than in past years. Specifically, Arctic sea ice extent for January averaged 13.56 million square kilometers (5.24 million square miles). This was 860.000 square kilometres less in comparison to 1981 to 2010 long-term average sea ice extent, and 500.000 square kilometres above the record low for the month set in January 2018.

Watch: Arctic Council launches ship traffic data

The Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) has launched a comprehensive Arctic shipping activity database, to enhance knowledge of historical Arctic ship traffic activity and the factors that affect it, as sea ice extent, meteorological and oceanographic conditions and international regulations. The database is designed to allow authorized users to analyze vessel traffic patterns, fuel use and air emissions, among other economic and environmental conditions.

World’s first LNG icebreaker refuels in Finland

IB Polaris is the first icebreaker in the world to use an LNG engine and has bunkered  LNG at the Tornio LNG terminal in Röyttä Harbour. Polaris joined the fleet of Finland’s icebreaker operator Arctia in September 2016. Except the use of LNG, the lubricant used in the vessel’s propulsion system is biodegradable. The ship’s gray water, which basically consists of showering water, is collected to a container which is emptied during port calls. 

Poll

The sulphur cap is less than a year away and with most vessels choosing compliant fuel, do you expect to see a spike in incidents and accidents related to the switch over?

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