June 26 2014

June 26 2014

 Greek Section’s Report on June 26, 2014 Technical Meeting on the subject of “CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF SHIPPING ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION”.


Report by:  Apostolos Papanikolaou

On Thursday June 26th 2014 the Greek Section of SNAME held its 10th and final technical meeting for this year. The meeting was held at the Maran and Alpha Tankers Auditorium, kindly made available by the upper management of the aforementioned companies. The topic of the presentation was a critical review of recent international maritime legislation regarding energy efficiency and environmental protection. Presenter was a renowned Greek speaker, namely Dr. George Gratsos, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, representing the views of the Greek shipping industry.  The unique background of the speaker, namely holding a BSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from MIT/Boston, a PhD in shipping economics and being a descendant of a traditional Greek shipping company, enabled a very interesting presentation and lively discussion with the participants.

The speaker addressed a variety of energy efficiency and environmental protection issues of European and IMO maritime legislation, which did not have the desired impact in practice.

The first example referred to European policy and measures to enhance the development of short sea shipping and move more cargo to ships, thus reducing emissions. Looking at 2010 statistics, compared to year 1995, the share of European cargo transport by sea reduced to 36.8% of the total, compared to 37.5% in year 1995, despite many given incentives and a lot of tax payer’s Euros. The corresponding increase of total emissions was huge, namely the equivalent of 1,270 bulkcarriers trading worldwide for a whole year! If the overall economic implications of regulations are not taken into account they will eventually fail.

The 2nd example referred to flawed assumptions about shipping fuel consumptions in the IMO GHG study 2009, stating that no commercial operator will actually accept practices leading to inflated fuel bills above the ship’s speed/consumption warranties, thus this is the right source of information. Because of the wrong assumptions and simulations in the above study, the actual emissions of shipping finally proved much lower than initially estimated, namely 1.8% of world emissions, instead of 2.7%.

The next example referred to reg. 14-Annex VI MARPOL and suggested that it leads to an increase of global warming, of violent weather patterns and of weather dependent marine accidents, because a SOx reduction proves negative for the environment. Recent research has shown namely that SOx aerosols create clouds, last only few days and cool the atmosphere, thus SOx should be regulated only in ECAs – not globally.

Ballast water treatment was the next example of misleading legislation. Comparing the movement of thousands of trillions of tons of sea water by ocean currents to what is moved by ships, one should wonder about the effectiveness of costly BWT measures.

Finally the speaker addressed the EEDI legislation and the minimum powering in adverse sea conditions, taking reference to MEPC 62/5/6 submitted by Greece. He highlighted dangerous operations by underpowered ships in extreme seas and referred to insufficiencies of the related IACS study.  

 The presentation ended with a very lively question and answers period where many clarifications were provided by the speaker. With respect to the last addressed point, Prof. Apostolos Papanikolaou, coordinator of the EU funded project SHOPERA (www.shopera.org) informed the audience that a large team of RTD partners is currently thoroughly investigating the subject and is expected to submit new proposals to IMO in year 2016.  The meeting closed in a festive atmosphere with the traditional reception and get-together time.

 ( from left to right ):  N. Dionissopoulos, Exec. Com. Member; J. Kokarakis, Vice Chairman;
G. Gratsos, Author; A. Papanikolaou, Chairman; P. Lalangas, Secretary/ Treasurer.

The presentation can be found below:
SNAME SEMINAR 26-6-14.pdf