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EU seeks stricter fines to stop illegal discharges, beyond oil spills

Ships in EU seas should face dissuasive fines not only for oil spills, but also for sewage and garbage discharge, says Transport and Tourism Committee MEPs.

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Ships in EU seas should face dissuasive fines not only for oil spills, but also for sewage and garbage discharge, Transport and Tourism Committee MEPs said on Thursday (16 November).

Transport and Tourism Committee voted to update EU rules on preventing pollution from ships in European seas and ensuring perpetrators face fines. It would ensure all international standards on preventing illegal discharges from ships, developed by International Maritime Organisation, become part of EU law and as a result become more easily enforceable.

MEPs supported the proposal to extend current EU rules prohibiting the discharge of oil and noxious liquid substances to include the discharge of sewage, garbage, and residues from scrubbers.

They want ship-owners to bear the responsibility for any environmental damage caused by ship pollution, in case the master or crew responsible for the illegal discharge can no longer be found or cannot afford to pay the full amount of the penalty. MEPs also want EU governments to avoid setting maximum or minimum penalties for infringements to ensure that the effectiveness and proportionality of penalties are not undermined.

Current EU rules have been responsible for the introduction of the CleanSeaNet, a European satellite-based alert system for oil spill and vessel detection. Because this system lacks reporting on how pollution incidents were followed up, Transport MEPs are in favour of encouraging more information exchange between member states and the Commission on pollution incidents. They also want 50% of CleanSeaNet alerts to be verified on the spot and as soon as possible, to prevent an illegal discharge from dispersing and therefore becoming undetectable by the time of arrival on the location.

“The current EU rules do not work, because they are weakly applied by member states. This is unacceptable. It is time for member states to step up and protect European seas from the harmful effects of ships illegally dumping waste. It is necessary to effectively detect illegal discharges and set penalties at levels that serve as a real deterrent,” EP rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, Romania) said.

The draft negotiating mandate was approved by 36 votes to one. Transport Committee MEPs also unanimously (36 votes in favour) backed a decision to start talks with member states on the final shape of the legislation, once plenary has given its green light next week.

The revision of the directive on ship-source pollution is a part of the Maritime safety package presented by the Commission in June 2023. The package aims to modernise and reinforce EU maritime rules on safety and pollution prevention.

The new rules focus on administrative fines for ship-source pollution, while criminal sanctions are to be addressed in separate legislation MEPs are currently negotiating with EU governments.

Photo credit: Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash
Published: 20 November, 2023

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Environment

IBIA survey: Study on the implementation of IMO SEEMP framework

Survey conducted by World Maritime University and IMO Future Fuels and Technology project to facilitate review of short-term GHG reduction measure.

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The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Monday (10 June) shared a survey for industry stakeholders interested in contributing to the Study on the implementation of the IMO Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) framework.

The survey is conducted by World Maritime University and the IMO Future Fuels and Technology project to facilitate the review of the short-term GHG reduction measure.

The purpose of this survey is to explore the concrete implementation of the SEEMP framework with attention paid to its three components, namely the energy efficiency management plan (Part I), fuel oil consumption data collection (Part II), and ship operational carbon intensity (Part III). WMU seeks to consult a wide range of interested stakeholders, divided into three groups, with questions tailored to each group:

  • Group 1: Policy making (legislation) and policy execution (regulatory) bodies, including: Flag administrations – member State delegations – PSC – Classification societies – Take Survey
  • Group 2: Policy performers, including: Ship owners- ship operators- ship owner/operator- seafarers – Take Survey
  • Group 3: Observers or other actors’ category, including: Charterers- cargo owners- academia- NGOs – technology providers – training institutes- consultants – other stakeholders – Take Survey

The survey is open until 30 June 2024.

 

Photo credit: International Bunker Industry Association
Published: 13 June 2024

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Methanol

Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels revealed a strategic collaboration with Vopak to secure necessary port storage to accommodate green methanol supply in Shanghai, Tianjin and later in Singapore.

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Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels Trading on Tuesday (11 June) announced a strategic collaboration with Royal Vopak Terminals in the key ports of Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang, China. 

The firm said the milestone agreement marked the next phase of methanol supply chain infrastructure expansion for Green Marine Fuels Trading, securing necessary port storage capacity to accommodate projected supply of green methanol from Chinese business partners.  

Green Marine will be undertaking a similar cooperation plan with Vopak Singapore as well. 

Gavin McGrath, Director at Green Marine, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Green Marine Fuels Trading and further underscores our preparedness to supply green methanol to the imminent green transition within the shipping industry.” 

“Our leadership in the global methanol marine fuel sector uniquely positions us to bridge the gap between methanol producers and buyers, with storage and supply infrastructure being a crucial link in the chain.”

“We eagerly anticipate leveraging our expertise in these domains to enrich the Shanghai and Tianjin green port and marine fuel ecosystems.”

Manifold Times previously reported Vopak signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vice Mayor of Tianjin delegation to support the repurposing of Vopak Tianjin's infrastructure for new energies, including green methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, and potentially ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

Vopak said Tianjin Port Group will work closely with Vopak to develop a green methanol bunkering service solution.

Related: Tianjin Port Group and Vopak partner to develop green methanol bunkering service

 

Photo credit: Green Marine Group
Published: 12 June 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Fresh Carriers and Zespri complete first biofuel trial onboard “Kakariki”

Vessel was bunkered with bio bunker fuel in Hong Kong as there is none available in New Zealand; further biofuel trials between FCC and Zespri are planned using other FCC vessels.

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Fresh Carriers and Zespri complete first biofuel trial onboard “Kakariki”

New Zealand's largest horticultural exporter Zespri on Tuesday (11 June) said one of its international shipping partners, Fresh Carriers Co Ltd (FCC), has successfully completed a trial using biofuel in a charter vessel operating between Hong Kong and New Zealand, according to Zespri on Tuesday (11 June).

The purpose of the trial was to test the performance of the ship’s engines when burning biofuel.

The cargo ship Kakariki bunkered the biofuel in Hong Kong at the end of last month before starting its voyage south, arriving at the Port of Tauranga at the weekend. 

The vessel was powered by a blend of biofuel which is made from used cooking oil. The Kakariki bunkered the biofuel in Hong Kong because there is none available in New Zealand - if and when biofuel does become available in New Zealand it will present more opportunities for Zespri’s chartered ships to burn this low-emission fuel.

Zespri Chief Operating Officer Jason Te Brake said the biofuel trial by FCC is a collaborative step forward for the industry as it seeks to decarbonise and future proof through innovative solutions such as low emissions shipping.

“With Zespri having limited ability to directly reduce shipping emissions ourselves, we’re working with key shipping and distribution partners like FCC to increase the efficiency of our shipping and logistics, and make the transition to low emissions fuels.

“The biofuel trial with FCC is an important step forward and has given us both important technical insights, with the Kakariki monitored throughout its journey to make sure the biofuel performed well with no unforeseen technical issues. It’s fantastic to see it dock successfully in Tauranga.”

FCC Director Toshiyuki Koga said FCC was proud to see the Kakariki, which is the company’s first vessel to trial biofuel, arrive safely in Tauranga.

“We have been in discussions with Zespri for a number of months about carrying out this trial and are now looking forward to further biofuel trials using other FCC vessels. We are also considering a northbound trial taking Zespri Kiwifruit to market this season.

“Biofuel supply chains are complex and there is still work to be done to ensure stable supply, however this trial is a first step towards decarbonisation with Zespri.”

Jason Te Brake added: “New Zealand’s place at the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean means accessing low emissions fuel options is a challenge, and we are actively seeking partners to shore up access to more sustainable fuels to meet our ambitious targets and the expectations of our customers and consumers.

“It’s been positive working with our long term partner FCC recognising the importance of decarbonising and future proofing the industry. This trial is a step forward and we’re pleased to be on the path to introducing low emissions fuels to carry Zespri Kiwifruit to our markets around the world in the future.”

 

Photo credit: Zespri
Published: 12 June 2024

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