Monitoring Ship Emission Data: Mission Impossible?
The IMO sulphur cap is less than a year away. The shipping industry must ensure that the content in their fleet’s fuel contains only 0.5% of sulphur or suffer the consequences of non-compliance. However, to effectively enforce the new rules, it’s necessary to monitor ship emission data. How do regulators plan to do that?
Monitoring in ports
The new regulation is supposed to be enforced by the ports a ship docks at, but not all of them have the capabilities to do it. The lack of centralised funding and enforcement framework combined with some countries not ratifying this IMO regulation into national legislation makes the process of rule implementation difficult.
Even if all ports eventually adopt enforcement instruments like sulphur detection systems, air surveillance and similar, and shipowners provide accurate ship emission data to ports, it still might not mean that the regulation’s goal to protect the environment is reached. Some might choose to use scrubbers that use seawater to scrub the dirty fuel from pollutants, ensuring compliance. However, the then dirty water could end up back in the ocean, resulting in simply transferring the pollution problem from the air to the marine environment.
The European Union has the Monitoring, Reporting, Verification (EU MRV) regulation that requires large vessels, calling at ports of the European Economic Area, to collect CO2 emissions data annually, starting from January 2018, to be later verified by independent, certified bodies. In light of the IMO sulphur cap, the European Commission has submitted a proposal that will help to harmonise both monitoring systems.
The aggregated ship emission data from the EU MRV will be published in June 2019 with yearly reports to follow. The European Commission believes that disclosing the data will be an incentive for shipping companies to reduce their emissions and prevent “dirty” ships from hiding their inefficiency.
Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) developed a blockchain fuels assurance platform to verify carbon emissions from ships. It was recently used to track biofuel from its creation through processing and blending to delivery for the NYK-owned Frontier Sky vessel. This system allowed to create a digital ledger for regulators and clients to verify the quality of the marine fuel supply chain and track its environmental impact.
Another new way to ease compliance and reporting was released by classification society BV. The My Fuel Consumption (MFC) online tool is a useful guide for navigating the requirements of IMO’s data collection system and the EU MRV. The MFC lets track fuel consumption and CO2 ship emission data that is automatically registered via a secure cloud-based web application.
What other technologies could be applied to get reliable ship emission data? Discover the answer and explore technological possibilities at the 2nd Green Maritime Forum in Hamburg on April 2nd. The event will even have a special panel dedicated to discuss the impact of maritime regulations, moderated by Barbara Jinks, Director of Government Relations at Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) and featuring high-level shipping policy experts. Hear what conclusions they reach by signing up to attend here: www.greenmaritimeforum.com.