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IMO MPEC 81st session to be held between 18 to 22 March

Related to the bunkering industry, further discussions on the economic GHG pricing mechanism and technical bunker fuel standard are expected during MPEC 81 session.

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The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 81st session, will meet in-person at IMO Headquarters in London from 18 to 22 March 2024.

Related to the bunkering industry, further discussions on economic GHG pricing mechanism and technical bunker fuel standard are expected during MPEC 81 session. 

The following is a preview of what will take place at MEPC 81:

Amongst other key agenda items, MEPC 81 is expected to discuss the implementation of the 2023 IMO GHG Strategy.  

The MEPC meeting is preceded by the 16th meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 16), from 11-15 March 2024.

MEPC 81 highlights:

  1. Tackling climate change - cutting GHG emissions from ships – implementing the 2023 IMO GHG Strategy - continuing discussions on economic GHG pricing mechanism and technical fuel standard
  2. Energy efficiency of ships - reports on fuel oil consumption
  3. Tackling marine litter – Adoption of amendments on reporting procedures for lost containers / recommendations on carriage of plastic pellets by sea in freight containers
  4. Ballast Water Management Convention implementation - experience-building phase, approval of operational guidelines and adoption of amendments to the BWM Convention
  5. Proposals for Emission Control Areas
  6. Implementation of the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling
  7. Marine diesel engine replacing a steam system – draft MARPOL Annex VI amendments
  8. Underwater noise reduction   - draft action plan to be considered

Tackling climate change - cutting GHG emissions from ships

IMO has developed global regulations on energy efficiency for ships (read more here) and continues to take concrete action to ensure that international shipping bears its fair share of responsibility in addressing climate change. MEPC 80 in July 2023 adopted the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, with a goal of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by or around, i.e. close to, 2050.

Mid-term measures: fuel standard and pricing mechanism

The MEPC will continue to consider proposals on candidate mid-term measures, following discussion in the Intersessional GHG Working Group. The 2023 IMO GHG Strategy commits Member States to developing and adopting (in late 2025): a technical element, namely a goal-based marine fuel standard regulating the phased reduction of a marine fuel's GHG intensity; and an economic element, on the basis of a maritime GHG emissions pricing mechanism.   

Proposals under consideration cover both these elements. The latest submissions related to the proposals will be discussed first in the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 16), which meets 11-15 March 2024.

The MEPC and intersessional group will receive a progress report from the Steering Committee on the conduct of the comprehensive impact assessment of the basket of candidate mid-term measure. The impact assessment is a crucial element to support decision making on the mid‑term measures. The impact assessment, inter alia, considers the following areas: geographic remoteness of and connectivity to main markets; cargo value and type; transport dependency; transport costs; food security; disaster response; cost-effectiveness; and socio-economic progress and development.

A Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships will be established during MEPC 81.  

Revised greenhouse gas life cycle guidelines set for adoption

The report of the Correspondence Group on the Further Development of the LCA Framework will be considered. The MEPC is expected to adopt revised Guidelines on life cycle GHG intensity of marine fuels (LCA Guidelines). The LCA guidelines allow for a Well-to-Wake calculation, including Well-to-Tank and Tank-to-Wake emission factors, of total GHG emissions related to the production and use of marine fuels. The updates include revised calculations for default emission factors; updated appendix 4 on template for well-to-tank default emission factor submission; and new appendix 5 template for Tank-to-Wake (TtW) emission factors.

The MEPC is expected to consider TtW (methane) CH4 and (ammonia slip) N2O emission factors and slip values and the need for continuous expert review of such values and emission factors, taking into account the report of the Correspondence Group.

Future work

The MEPC will develop draft terms of reference for further intersessional GHG work, ahead of MEPC 82 (30 September to 4 October 2024).

Energy Efficiency  

The MEPC is expected to consider a report on the fuel oil consumption data submitted to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database (Reporting year: 2022); and the report on annual carbon intensity and efficiency of the existing fleet (Reporting years: 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022).

A Working Group on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency will be established.

Marine diesel engine replacing a steam system – draft MARPOL Annex VI amendments

The MEPC is expected to adopt draft amendments to regulation 13.2.2 of MARPOL Annex VI on a marine diesel engine replacing a steam system.

 

Photo and source: International Maritime Organization
Published: 18 March, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

WEF: South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission bunker fuels

Report highlighted a clear demand signal for bunkering ZEF in selected South African ports will be needed to realise the country’s opportunity to become a global hotspot for zero-emission shipping.

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WEF: South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission bunker fuels

South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission shipping fuels – but it needs global demand to get the ball rolling, according to a report by the World Economic Forum recently.

The white paper, titled Decarbonising South Africa’s Shipping and Trucking Sectors, presented the findings and recommendations from a First Movers Coalition workshop held in South Africa in March 2024, which focused on decarbonising the country’s shipping and trucking sectors and developing its potential to produce green hydrogen.

The report said more than 200 dual-fuel methanol vessels have been ordered globally, requiring over 20 Mt of e-methanol fuel per annum to achieve 100% zero-emission operability.

However, fuel availability at that scale is expected to be challenged until at least 2030-35. This demand creates an opportunity for South African producers to secure early customers and sign advance offtake agreements, providing certainty for new projects and improving investment prospects.

The study noted that ammonia also brings advantages as a zero-emission fuel (ZEF), such as high carbon-emission savings, unlimited feedstock (nitrogen) availability and existing logistical infrastructure around the globe. 

While ammonia engines will reach the market from 2025 at the earliest, major carriers like Trafigura and BHP are already placing orders for dual-fuel ammonia vessels.

The World Bank has conducted a pre-feasibility study on establishing green shipping fuel value chains at the ports of Boegoebaai and Saldanha Bay. The study identifies ammonia as the preferred ZEF production choice for South Africa, due to the scarcity of biogenic carbon dioxide to produce methanol. 

“Most of the fuel’s cost comes from hydrogen feedstock – but by leveraging abundant wind and solar supply, the two ports will be able to generate renewable electricity at scale to produce competitive green hydrogen for local industry use (e.g. green steel) and to produce green ammonia for export to the global shipping industry,” the report said.

On bunkering, the report stated political disturbance and security risks in the Red Sea during 2023 to 24 forced many shipping operators to abandon the Suez Canal and re-route their cargo around the Cape of Good Hope. 

Even without those risks, operators shipping lower value or less time-critical cargo may use the Cape route rather than the more expensive Suez Canal, adding two weeks to a ship’s voyage time from Asia to Europe.

“This extra travel time – plus the lower density of zero-emission fuels – could compel vessels running on ZEF to bunker in South Africa before reaching Europe,” it said. 

“Access to zero-emission fuels therefore opens up the possibility of South African ports positioning themselves as bunkering hubs to supply passing shipping traffic.”

“Furthermore, the potential for South Africa to produce e-methanol and e-ammonia has triggered plans to develop ‘green corridors’ – effectively routes connecting ports for vessels to sail on ZEF.

However, the report highlighted a clear demand signal for bunkering ZEF in selected South African ports will be needed to realise the country’s opportunity to become a global hotspot for zero-emission shipping.

“As local demand may take some years to build up, certainty from global demand will play a key role. It is also important to assess different uses for hydrogen beyond maritime fuel, to determine how multi-sectoral offtake can improve the business case for potential project developers,” it said.

Note: The full white paper, titled ‘Decarbonising South Africa’s Shipping and Trucking Sectors’, can be viewed here.

 

Photo credit: World Economic Forum
Published: 24 June, 2024

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Biofuel

DB Schenker to ship Avolta cargo between Europe and US with bio bunker fuel

All containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona – Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel.

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DB Schenker

Travel retailer Avolta recently said it entered an agreement in Spain with logistics service provider DB Schenker for the transport of goods using marine biofuel between Europe and the United States.

From now on, all containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona - Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through the application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel, to achieve additional compensation of the biofuel’s upstream emissions.

“This biofuel switch could prevent over 150 tons of CO2e Well-to-Wake emissions per year, based on Avolta’s 2023 container volume on this route, reducing up to 84% of the CO2 emissions,” the firm said.

The fuel used is Used Cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) and is based on renewable and sustainable sources, mainly waste cooking oil. 

The application will be guided by the Book & Claim System, a set of principles that have been developed through a global, multi-stakeholder process with third-party validation to ensure that the use of this chain of custody model has full traceability and credibility, as well as a demonstrable climate impact.

Camillo Rossotto, Chief Public Affairs & ESG Officer Avolta, said: “We are taking a significant step forward towards decarbonising our shipments and route transportations.”

“This agreement represents the starting point of the transitioning to biofuel for ocean freight which will contribute to decarbonising our logistic emission. Our company's commitment to sustainability is firm and long-term and, as proof of this, we are planning to increase the volume of containers transported using biofuel, advancing in the sustainable and low-emission transportation industry."

Miguel Ángel de la Torre, director of maritime transport at DB Schenker in Iberia, said: "Our mission is to help, facilitate, and guide our customers in the sustainable transformation, and on this occasion, we are doing so by offering this biofuel so that they can convert their freight transport into low-emission transport.”

“In this way, our customer Avolta is not only pioneering and helping to reduce emissions but is also ahead of the new regulations and associated benefits that will be tightened in the coming years.”

 

Photo credit: DB Schenker
Published: 24 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

MAN Energy Solutions rejoins SEA-LNG coalition

‘MAN ES, alongside other members of the SEA-LNG coalition, are making great strides in tackling methane slip in engine technologies where it still exists,’ says Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman.

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MAN Energy Solutions rejoins SEA-LNG

Global multi-sector industry coalition SEA LNG on Thursday (20 June) announced that MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) will rejoin its coalition.  

As a provider of flexible and powerful propulsion solutions for LNG marine applications, SEA LNG said MAN ES caters to the growing demands of the shipping industry for LNG propulsion and equipment across dual fuel LNG-powered ships, LNG carriers, FRSUs, LNG feeder and bunker vessels, as well as for gas supply infrastructure. All MAN ES technology is fully compatible with net-zero biomethane and e-methane.

“MAN ES’s technical expertise adds to the technical skills and experience of SEA-LNG members, already achieving reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. MAN ES’s two-stroke high-pressure engine technology is one of those delivering virtually no methane slip in the LNG combustion process today,” it said.

In addition, MAN ES is making significant progress in eradicating methane slip in its four-stroke engines. Over the last ten years, MAN ES has already been able to halve methane slip in its four-stroke gas engines and is aiming for a further 20% reduction by continuously improving the combustion process.

MAN ES's IMOKAT II project has secured investment from the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action to develop an after-treatment technology to further reduce methane slip from its four-stroke engines, ultimately aiming for a 70% reduction of methane emissions at 100% load.  

Stefan Eefting, Senior Vice President and Head of MAN PrimeServ Germany at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “While shipping remains the most environmentally-friendly form of transport, the many vessels powered by our technology means that MAN Energy Solutions has a special responsibility to help move the industry to net-zero; we are very happy to work with like-minded partners in achieving this.”

“Our unique ability to assess the future-fuel mix is, in great part, based on our dual-fuel engine development, which promotes LNG and other alternative green fuels that have a key role to play on the path to decarbonisation.” 

Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman, said: “The shipping industry’s decarbonisation drive is at a tipping point as global and regional regulations begin to impact shipowners financially.”

“As these regulatory changes continue to be felt, LNG as a marine fuel, and its decarbonisation pathway through liquified biomethane and e-methane, offers the most practical and realistic solution. The LNG solution is playing a critical role in enabling emissions reductions, starting today.”

“If we want to continue to unlock this pathway’s potential, we need the right expertise and MAN ES’s experience and insights will be critical to ensuring LNG, biomethane and e-methane firmly take their place in the basket of alternative marine fuels.”

Keller continued: “We are proud to represent the entire LNG value chain, and the addition of MAN ES only adds to our roster of industry-leading first movers to promote the LNG pathway. In particular, MAN ES, alongside other members of the SEA-LNG coalition, are making great strides in tackling methane slip in engine technologies where it still exists. With constant advances in technology, we are confident the issue of methane slip can be solved within this decade.” 

 

Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 24 June, 2024

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