• Follow Us On Our Preferred Social Media Platform:

Belgian shipping applauds first European Maritime Transport Environmental Report

07 Sep 2021

The Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association (RBSA) on Monday (6 September) said the European Maritime Transport Environmental Report (EMTER) report provides a useful overview on the current status quo for the sector to move forward towards Europe’s carbon neutrality ambition.

Launched on 1 September by the EEA and EMSA, the EMTER report acknowledges that maritime transport is an essential vector for European trade and a driver of economic growth. While maritime transport accounts less (13.5%) for GHG emissions than road transport (71%) and civil aviation (14.4%), the industry is determined to effectively transform itself to help achieve the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

While the report touched on several aspects of environmental impact, some significant figures were mentioned in the areas of Greenhouse Gas (GHG), air pollution, underwater noise pollution.

In terms of GHG emissions, shipping is currently the most effective form of transport for the international and intra-EU transport of goods and raw material, compared to road and aviation. The continuous use of maritime transport is thus necessary to prevent further increase of GHG levels.

Today, the low to zero carbon alternative bunker fuels, nor the engine to burn them, are on the market yet, in the quality and quantity needed by the shipping industry.

Notwithstanding, Belgian shipowners are investing in the future by e.g. exploring the use of hydrogen or by ordering ammonia-ready new-builds (meaning, once the engine and fuels are available on the market, the ships can be retrofitted to burn e.g. ammonia)

Belgian shipowners are looking at medium-term as well as long-term energy transition solutions that are both viable and scalable. Recent milestones by Belgian shipowners include:

  • Exmar: Partnership with Nutrien to building a vessel powered by low-carbon ammonia.
  • Euronav: Launched a Joint Development Programme (JDP) to accelerate the development of dual-fuel ammonia (NH3) fitted VLCC and Suezmax vessels.
  • CMB: Built the world’s first multimodal green hydrogen refuelling station in Antwerp.
  • DEME Group: A partner in the PosHYdon project to work on the world’s first offshore green hydrogen pilot on a working platform.

“Until new fuels are commercially available and financially viable, shipping needs to ensure that the air pollutants emitted by current fuels should be kept to a minimum, both at sea and at berth,” states RBSA.

“As such, Belgian shipowners strongly encourage the use of MDO and VLSFO, instead of HFO with EGCS installations, so that air pollution is not turned into water pollution.

“More notably, the RBSA supports the strict legislations regarding SOx and NOx at both EU and IMO levels.”

Related: Clean Shipping Alliance welcomes European Maritime Transport Environmental Report
Related: EMSA and EEA releases European Maritime Transport Environmental Report


Photo credit: Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association
Published: 7 September, 2021

Related News

Featured News

Our Industry Partners

PR Newswire