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2020

If you work in shipping and after seeing this number the first thing that comes to your mind is EMISSIONS, then you are on the right track!

In the previous Blue Innovation post we talked about the OPS as the means to control emissions in ports. However, seafarers have a saying that says “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for,” which reminds us that a ship spends most of its life time in navigation. Even though emissions in port directly influence the communities nearby, the emissions from ships affect the environment in general.

It is not a new development for the IMO to work towards environmental responsibility. Since 1997 it has officially had the MARPOL Convention. In terms of emissions, by 2005 chapter VI of the convention has entered into force which aimed to control SOx, NOx, and other particle emissions that affect the earth’s ozone layer. Each year there is more responsibility and pressure coming from the IMO, encompassing the complex discussion of measures in favour of the environment within the complex understanding of the great changes and challenges involved in the issue. The complexity is there as it is a decision that calls for the necessary initiatives and technologies to be able to improve (decrease) emissions, considering the responsibility implied by the potential incidents that would affect the means of transport that mobilises 80% of the world’s goods.

The IMO has been known to set emission guidelines for decades, however quite a bit of controversy has surrounded the 2020 expectations. For instance, currently the global limit of sulphur contents of ships’ fuel oil is 3.5% and with the entry into force of the new limitations on the 1st of January 2020, emissions will need to be reduced to 0.5% SOx. The ECA zones will not be affected with this limitation, as these emissions have already been limited in 2015 from 1.0% to 0.1%.

What do all these changes mean and how to they relate to our Blue Innovation section? In this issue many of the alternative solutions to the challenges set by the IMO 2020 regulation will be listed, which will then be provided with source links for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the subjects.

In a way, as a consequence of the global concerns and pressures to tackle climate change, technological developments are the ones that are going to be able to face all these changes with the smallest possible impact on the global economy. This signifies the need to not only change the fuel type used by commercial vessels, but the logistics of bunker supply, adaptation of machinery and installations and procedures that take a lot of time as well, especially when thinking about more than 95,000 merchant ships worldwide.

ALTERNATIVE FUELS

In order to meet the new IMO regulations, ships have several options, including fuel quality (low sulphur fuel oil) and alternative fuels (methanol, biofuels, LNG, H2, etc.), which require major adaptations to the engine systems.

M/V AIDA Nova on LNG bunker operation at the Port of Barcelona. Source: http://www.spanishports.es/texto-diario/mostrar/1401337/puerto-barcelona-recibe-primer-crucero-propulsado-gas-natural-licuado

 

HYBRID AND ELECTRIC PROPULSION SYSTEMS

On the other hand, some proposals include the use of hybrid systems combining of diesel-electric, gas-electric or even ones relying solely on electricity. The first are systems that combine the operation of a fuel for the generation of energy that is stored in batteries and used according to operational needs, thus distributing and optimizing emissions. It is also true that since 2015 fully electric ships have been a reality in the market, but due to their short autonomy, they have not spread out.

WIND SYSTEMS

Wind propulsion has also been a part of the proposals. It contemplates (depending on the type of vessels) the possibility of implementing systems that help propulsion through the use of wind force. Some examples of such systems are DynaRig, Flettner-Rotors and even research projects such as Wind & Solar Power for Sustainable Shipping or the Kite propulsion system. These systems are not intended to replace the engines but can compensate an operational process of slow steaming without resulting in significant changes in the journey.

Maersk Pelican with Rotor Sails, project done by Norsepower confirmed savings of 8.2 % fuel and associated CO2.
http://wind-ship.org/norsepower//

AFTER-TREATMENT EMISSION CONTROL

Alongside the previously mentioned alternatives, there are after-treatment emission control systems such as Integrating SOx and NOx Abatement, Selective Catalytic Reduction or scrubbers which, despite their investment, have come to be seen as viable options for shipping companies in which open (sea water) or closed (fresh water) systems function as filters to reduce PM by 80% and SOx by up to 98%.

Exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) https://www.dnvgl.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/Scrubbers-at-a-glance.html

The availability of so many alternatives does not mean that following the IMO rules will be easy. Many of the proposed solutions require a lot of investment, result in large operating costs, require major changes in systems and equipment or massive supply capacities for fleets. Each shipping company will have to adapt according to their routes, facilities and structures, and choose a system that complies with emissions regulations.

All of this is accompanied by other alternative technologies that, while not necessarily reduce emissions, help in the performance of the ship and therewith improve its overall environmental footprint. The improvements could be new aerodynamics, low resistance paints, trim optimization, optimization of aerodynamics of propellers and rudders, optimized pumping in cooling systems, and even the use of big data to improve the sensors in equipment and prevent excessive consumption by optimizing the maintenance or the use of data to predict optimal routes according to environmental conditions.

There is no doubt that the Blue Economy will be affected by the 2020 regulations. The world’s waking up to the threats and dangers posed by climate change, and all of the world’s industries are adapting. The maritime world will perhaps be the one most affected by the new rules as, being responsible for 80% of all trade in an increasingly globalised society, it is one of the more significant polluters. As in any case though, challenges bring new and innovative solutions, and we are very excited to see what the industry will bring in the coming years to continue to innovate and protect our Blue Economy.

Written by:

  • Vanessa Bexiga – Operations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

Useful links:

Circle of the Sustainable Development Goals - SDG

And Greta went to New York

Source: un.org

An ever-changing world

It is the time when autumn arrives at the northern hemisphere, and with it a new edition of our cherished Odiseo. The edition which will feature aspects of sustainability which arose spontaneously. When we reviewed the topics we wanted to deal with, we realised that almost all of them were facing the same direction.

It coincides with the timing of Greta Thunberg’s trip to New York, following an invitation from the United Nations to participate in a climate summit at the United Nations. On her arrival, a fleet of 17 UN boats (one for each of the Sustainable Development Goals) received her in New York waters to accompany her on the last leg of her journey.

Source: europa.eu

It seems incredible how this young Swede, at only 16 years of age, is succeeding in mobilising an enormous number of people among whom are many of the world’s most important politicians. For those of you who want to get to know her better, I recommend viewing her speech in the European Parliament last April. Her message touches the heart and moves to action.  She made an impassioned plea for the planet urging MEPs to “start panicking about climate change” rather than “waste time arguing about Brexit.”

The world’s great powerhouses are beginning to worry about much of what is happening. The United Nations is a frontrunner in particular, following its magnificent awareness campaign of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) published in 2000: halving extreme poverty rates, universal primary education, gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development, all by a 2015 deadline. Which, incredibly, was met!

Today we are presented with the Sustainable Development Goals, a plan to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. These address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. The Goals are interlinked and, if we are not to leave anyone behind, it is important that we attain each Goal by 2030.

Some may consider it more of a marketing campaign than a Real Action Programme, but I sincerely believe that today we are what we know and what we need to be, so let us celebrate the use of marketing as a lever of change. I know that the world is better today than 15 years ago and even more so than 30 years ago. We must continue to set goals, even if they seem utopian, to keep us moving forward.  It is as Eduardo Galeano said: “Utopia is on the horizon. I walk two steps, she moves two steps away and the horizon runs ten steps further. So what is Utopia for? For that; it is good for walking.”

Today Utopia can simply stand for complying with the SDG’s. This includes everyone’s involvement, starting with each one at an individual level and moving through the projects we work on and the politicians and policies we vote on.

The implications for the port sector

Institutions such as the Port Authority of Barcelona are taking a new look at how to act in light of these objectives. In the port’s latest reports on Corporate Social Responsibility, and in other management reports, the SDG related to the activities carried out are highlighted. I can assure you that they are changing the way we look at the work to be done and that we are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact of our decisions and actions on the achievement of objectives. There is an important movement, which we will introduce in more detail later, that seeks to transform the ports into SMART PORTS. We will be able to see this better at the Smart City Expo Congress that will be held from 19 to 21 November in Barcelona and which for the first time will have a space dedicated to ports. The ports of Barcelona, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Los Angeles and Montreal will come together to lead a global movement for improvement in the port area.

The implication for operators

We can see that sustainability in the transport sector has become one of the fundamental elements on a daily basis. Companies highlight the social impact of their activities, both in terms of external costs and polluting emissions.

Grimaldi presents vessels that contaminate less during port stays, and has begun associating itself with the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020). CSA 2020 defines itself as a group of leading companies from the commercial shipping and cruise industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts and have made significant investments in research and analysis, funding and committing resources to comply with 2020 fuel requirements through the development and use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS).

Shipping companies, port terminals, and land transport operators (both rail and road) are changing the way they conduct their operations. It seems clear that the European Commission’s principle that the polluter pays and the user pays will eventually be imposed not only at a European but possibly at international level as well.

 

How can we implicate ourselves?

Aristotle considered that attaining the fullness of the expression of human capabilities is the meaning and end of every individual.

Therefore, let me raise this virtue, the SDGs, as a collective objective, as a new project. A project you can work on.

The eight objectives for human development in 2000 positioned people in the epicentre of development.  They focused on potential development, about increasing possibilities and enjoying the freedom to live life.

Human development is the acquisition of the capacity to participate effectively in the construction of a prosperous society in both a material and spiritual sense; it is an integral part of the individual attaining a deeper knowledge of himself – externally and (perhaps more so) internally, more intimately within him- or herself.

The objectives have to reorient the way in which we understand life and society.

I believe in a humanism in which the construction of collective solutions involves individual action. The construction of global solution passes through the construction of oneself, and the routine day-to-day work paves the way for the progress of humanity and a better world for all.

I would like to highlight a few of the objectives.

Quality education understood as a duty for life. Our education and that of those who at some point depend on us: children, employees, relatives. Let us value having been born into a society that has provided us with access to exceptional education.

 

 

 

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but the necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. A society, organization or person who does not understand that we all have the same rights and obligations is ill. If you have to hire, pay, distribute and organize the work always seek this equality.

 

 

Decent work and economic growth: I don’t like using the word growth when referring to the economy. In my opinion, the challenge is to create employment without growing. On the surface it may seem like a paradox, but it is a different way of looking at things.

To end let me go back to the classics. Firstly, the concept of virtue that Aristotle left in his books on ethics, dedicated to his son Nicomacheus:

“Since, then, the present inquiry does not aim at theoretical knowledge like the others (for we are inquiring not in order to know what arete, virtue, is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our inquiry would have been of no use), we must examine the nature of actions.” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II, 2).

Vicenç Molina, a friend and mentor and what today would be called an influencer, brought it closer to our daily reality:

“Let us start, therefore, with the practice: working practically.

With the values raised, with the commitment achieved.

With constructive impetus. Poetically, without surprises or shrieks because, at its root, poetry is construction.

So, we do not have to be cut off… Or naive, but natural, real, feasible, civic…”

It is a wonderful reflection that should help us face our citizenry with love to the things that, in the end, will be important.

Each of us should be part of this project. All of us have values that we can bring to the surface, something which we can achieve by struggling to build ourselves. With creativity, with dialogue and cooperation, with self-determination, with work and effort, with commitment to people, and with knowledge and wisdom.

Let us all be accomplices in this great challenge, and may the road ahead present us with luck and happiness throughout the coming Millenia. I hope you will enjoy the articles in this Odiseo as much as I have.

Regards

 

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea

Ports Announce Climate Change Initiative

A group of the world’s leading port authorities have announced the launching of the World Ports Climate Action Programme, an international initiative with the objective of fighting climate change.

It will focus on a number of key areas, all based around improving supply chain efficiencies and cutting emissions. Signatories include the port authorities of Hamburg, Barcelona, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver and Rotterdam.

These will include accelerating the development of commercially viable sustainable low carbon fuels for maritime transport and infrastructure for electrification of ship propulsion systems.

The agreement will also concentrate on pursuing efforts to fully decarbonize cargo-handling facilities in ports, and research other renewable power 2-ship solutions.

Read more about cliamte change and sustainability in ports by reading a Port Technology technical paper

In a joint statement, the authorities of the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Antwerp urged all companies in the shipping industry to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement, a global initiative aimed at combatting climate change.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, and Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Port of Antwerp Authority, commented on the Programme: “The Paris Agreement has set a clear target: we need to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

“It is vital in this context to reduce the emissions generated by maritime transport. As critical hubs in the global maritime transport network, I am convinced that ports can make a significant contribution.

“I am pleased to see that international port authorities have taken on a leading role in this area, committing to collaborative projects that can further advance the decarbonization of the maritime transport sector.”

Source: Port Technology

Five Facts About Sustainable Ship Recycling

Despite recycling a majority of tonnage annually, South Asian countries have been repeatedly questioned about the environmental viability of such activity. This is despite the fact that almost everything on an end-of-life and the ship itself is recycled and reused, which adds to the sustainability of our natural resources.

Below, five facts are shared which exemplify the meaningful contribution of the ship recycling industry towards the environment and the society.

1. Boost to Local Economy

The ship recycling industry in South Asia is associated with a huge downstream market for second-hand goods such as furniture, machinery, joinery, electrical equipment, household appliances, home décor, paints, hardware items, etc. This supports the concept of industrial ecology or industrial symbiosis as the outputs from ship recycling yards are utilized as inputs to small-scale industries working to refurbish items which are eventually traded in the second-hand market.

All this is in addition to the steel re-rolling mills and steel melting mills which utilize ferrous scrap from end-of-life ships to produce steel goods such as bars, ingots, pipes, plates, etc. The entire localized industry developed due to ship recycling yards is a major boost to the local economy, as it assists in flourishing of trade of second-hand goods, ferrous scrap and non-ferrous scrap. At the same time, a large number of jobs are also created.

2. Creation of Jobs

The nexus of ship recycling yards, refurbishing shops, re-rolling mills, steel mills and second-hand shops creates a localized industry which employs hundreds of thousands of people from marginalized segments of the society. These jobs include both semi-skilled and unskilled workforce working at ship recycling yards dismantling and cutting end-of-life ships and at other downstream industries discussed above. According to the World Bank estimates, “the work force in each country varies with the volume of ship breaking but may range from 8,000–22,000 workers in the ship recycling yards to 200,000 in the supply chain, shops, and re-rolling mills.”

3. Recovery of Metal Scrap

The metal scrap obtained from end-of-life ships includes both the ferrous scrap and non-ferrous scrap. The ferrous scrap is generally classified in two ways – re-rollable scrap and melting scrap. In South Asian ship recycling yards, about 60 percent of the total weight of the ship’s steel is obtained in the form of re-rollable scrap. This comprises of plates, beams, girders and angle bars.

The re-rollable scrap is sold at a premium compared to the remaining 40 percent which is comprised of the irregular pieces of steel earmarked as melting scrap. The re-rollable products are generally used in the construction industry of these countries whereas the melting scrap is used to form finished steel products in a foundry.

In South Asia, the recovery of re-rollable and melting scrap steel by the ship recycling industry and its eventual supply for the iron and steel industries is critical because more than half of Bangladesh’s steel supply is fulfilled via this route. Similarly, for Pakistan and to some extent to India as well, the importance of the ship recycling industry for supplying scrap to the iron and steel industry is immense.

For example, in 2011 about 688,000 tons and 2.7 million tons of ferrous scrap was supplied by the ship recycling industry to the steel making industry in Pakistan and India, respectively. On a global basis, since 2011, every year at least seven million tons of metal scrap is produced by the ship recycling industry. This figure touched the 11 million ton mark in the year 2012 when a record number of ships were dismantled globally.

4. Reduced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

The positive effect of using scrap metal to produce finished products instead of using metal ore is seen in terms of reduced GHG emissions. The emissions reduction is due to the reduced energy consumption by up to 70 percent in steel making using scrap steel as compared to using iron ore. Moreover, the need for metal mining is also diminished, which adds to the reduction of the GHG emissions.

This is an important contribution of the ship recycling industry towards sustainability because the world needs to find ways to decarbonize the atmosphere in the wake of the issues such as global warming, depletion of the ozone layer and climate change.

5. Reduced Pollution

The recycling of steel scrap obtained from end-of-life ships also helps reduce air and water pollution. At the same time, it helps reduce water consumption. These reductions are due to fact that fewer resources are required to manufacture products from metal scrap as compared to metal ore. Scientifically published estimates suggest 86 percent less air pollution, 76 percent less water pollution, 40 percent reduction in water usage while making steel from scrap than from iron-ore.

The above aspects of the global ship recycling industry corroborate the fact that generally the industry is beneficial for the environment and the society. However, doubts have been raised by some on the manner in which ships are dismantled on some yards in the Indian sub-continent. The way ships are dismantled can definitely have consequences on environment and health and safety of the workers. Therefore, the need to improve the substandard facilities cannot be refuted.

At the same time, labeling yards HSE friendly or not on the basis of their geographical area cannot be justified: especially when almost half of the active yards in India have voluntarily upgraded their facilities to obtain the statements of compliance with the Hong Kong Convention from IACS member classification societies.

Dr. Kanu Priya Jain is Coordinator for Responsible Ship Recycling at GMS (Dubai).

Source: Maritime Executive