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IMO update by DNV: Marine Environment Protection Committee – MEPC 79

Highlights include adoption of a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in the Mediterranean Sea and MEPC 79 discussing on establishing a mandatory licensing scheme for bunker suppliers.





Classification society DNV on Friday (16 December) published a technical regulatory news titled IMO Update: Marine Environment Protection Committee – MEPC 79.

It focuses on highlights of the 79th session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 79) held from 12 to 16 December 2022.

The highlights include the adoption of a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in the Mediterranean Sea from 1 July 2025 as well as further discussions on the revision of the IMO GHG Strategy scheduled for 2023 and future technical and market-based measures.

MEPC 79 also discussed establishing a mandatory licensing scheme for bunker suppliers.

The following are further details of bunker-related highlights:

MARPOL Annex VI – Mediterranean sulphur ECA

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI were adopted to establish a Mediterranean Emission Control Area for sulphur oxides and particulate matter. The requirement will be the same as for other sulphur ECAs, mandating the use of fuel oil with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.10% or the use of an exhaust gas cleaning system.

The amendments will enter into force on 1 May 2024, and the requirements take effect on 1 May 2025.

MARPOL Annex VI – information to be included in the BDN

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, Appendix V were adopted to extend the information to be included in the BDN to also include the flashpoint of the fuel oil, or alternatively a statement that the flashpoint has been measured at or above 70°C.

The amendments will enter into force on 1 May 2024. 

MARPOL Annex VI – information to be submitted to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, Appendix IX were adopted to include the attained and required Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) values, the CII rating and attained Energy Efficiency Design Index for existing ships (EEXI) in the required information to be submitted to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database.

The amendments will enter into force on 1 May 2024. However, administrations are invited to consider early application from 1 January 2024 to ensure that the CII data for 2023 is reported to the IMO.

Licensing scheme for bunker suppliers

MEPC 79 discussed establishing a mandatory licensing scheme for bunker suppliers. However, there were no agreements to do so, but member states were encouraged to apply the voluntary licensing scheme in the Guidance for best practice for Member State/coastal State (MEPC.1/Circ.884/Rev.1).

Unified Interpretations

MEPC 79 approved a clarification on the Unified Interpretation of Appendix IX of MARPOL Annex VI, that the DCS reporting includes boil-off gases (BOG) used for propulsion or operational needs such as in a boiler, or burnt in a Gas Combustion Unit (GCU) for cargo tank pressure control, or for other operational purposes.

MEPC 79 approved an extension of the Unified Interpretation of Regulation 18.3 of MARPOL Annex VI related to NOx emissions when using biofuels, that it should also be applicable for fuels with a synthetic fuel content of up to 30%. In principle, such fuels fall under the definition of Marine Fuel Oil derived from petroleum refining (Regulation 18.3.1) and no further NOx testing is required.

MEPC 79 approved Unified Interpretations of Regulation 26 of MARPOL Annex VI related to the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). A new ship should comply with the requirement at the time of delivery. Furthermore, for ships delivered on 1 October or later, the following year should be the first year of the three-year implementation plan, and the attained CII for the remaining part of the year of delivery should not be included when the determining whether the ship should develop a corrective action plan under Regulation 28.

MEPC 79 approved a Unified Interpretation of Regulation 28 of MARPOL Annex VI related to the plan for corrective action to achieve the required CII. The corrective action plan should plan for how to achieve the required CII on the second year after the reporting year that resulted in the third consecutive D-rating or an E-rating.

On-board CO2 capture

A brief discussion was held on provisions for considering on-board CO2 capture and storage in GHG regulations under MARPOL Annex VI. Due to time constraints, the issue was deferred to MEPC 80.

Lifecycle GHG/carbon intensity for marine fuels

A brief discussion was held on developing guidelines on life cycle GHG/carbon intensity. The correspondence group will continue its work on the guidelines, and a first version is expected to be finalized at MEPC 80 in July 2023.

Note: The full TECHNICAL REGULATORY NEWS No. 29/2022 – STATUTORY can be downloaded here


Photo credit: DNV
Published: 19 December, 2022

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GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the “TIHAMA”, a 19,870 TEU container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd in final trial; marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022.





GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Thursday (18 July) said it has successfully completed its final supply chain trial for biofuel blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). 

This marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022 as part of a larger pilot to develop a framework to provide quality, quantity and GHG abatement assurances for drop-in fuels.

In this final trial, bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the TIHAMA, a 19,870 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd.

The biofuel component used is certified to the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) standard – a multistakeholder certification scheme for biobased materials. The biofuel component comprised neat Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) produced from food waste.

Authentix, a tracer solutions provider, supplied and dosed the FAME with an organic-based tracer at the storage terminal outside the Netherlands. The dosed FAME was then transported to the Port of Rotterdam for blending with VLSFO to achieve a B30 blend, before the blend was bunkered onboard the TIHAMA.

Similar to previous trials, GCMD engaged fuel testing company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) to witness the operations at all stages – from biofuel cargo transfer to bunkering. VPS also collected and conducted extensive laboratory tests on samples of the biofuel and biofuel blend collected at pre-determined points along the supply chain to assess quality per Standards EN 14214 and ISO 8217.

With well-to-wake emissions of 13.74 gCO2e/MJ, the neat FAME presented a 85.4% emissions reduction compared to the emissions of the fossil marine fuel. The reduced emissions complies with the MEPC 80, which requires a minimum emissions reduction of 65% in order for biofuels to be classified as sustainable.

GCMD and Hapag-Lloyd determined that consumption of the 4,500 MT B30 blend of FAME and VLSFO resulted in 27.9% emissions reduction compared to sailing on VLSFO.

A newly developed tracer deployed with this supply chain

GCMD collaborated with Authentix to develop and deploy a new organic-based tracer to authenticate the origin and verify the amount of FAME present in the blend. The proprietary tracer blended homogeneously with FAME and was detected at expected concentrations at all sampling points along the supply chain.

This trial marks the first deployment of this tracer in a marine fuel supply chain. Previously, similar tracers were used to authenticate and quantify biofuels in road transport and LPG supply chains.

Development of a comprehensive biofuels assurance framework underway

With the completion of this trial, GCMD has deployed a diverse range of tracer technologies, including synthetic DNA and element-based tracers, in addition to the organic-based tracer used in this trial. The trials have also included the development of a chemical fingerprinting methodology and the evaluation of lock-and-seal and automatic identification systems (AIS) as additional solutions to ensure the integrity of the biofuels supply chain.

Learnings on tracer limitations and benefits will be incorporated into a framework that recommends appropriate use to ensure consistent and robust performance. This effort will complement existing ISCC by providing additional supply chain assurance through physical traceability.

The insights from these trials will be shared in a series of reports covering issues, such as traceability, biofuel degradation, supply chain optimisation and abatement costs. These findings will culminate in a comprehensive assurance framework to provide guidance on biofuels use, slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2024.


Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 19 July 2024

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MPA, ITOCHU and partners sign MoU on ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers study

As a government agency, MPA,will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations, says ClassNK.





RESIZED venti views

Classification society ClassNK on Thursday (18 July) said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd., and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) regarding a joint study for the design and safety specifications of ammonia-fuelled ships which are under development by ITOCHU and partners.

“The discussion for a specification of ammonia-fuelled ships with a governmental body related to their operation is essential for a social implementation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK said. 

“As one of parties of the MoU, MPA, a government agency overseeing the world’s busiest bunkering hub, will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations.”

The MoU is based on the premise that 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers will be built by Nihon Shipyard with an ammonia dual-fuelled engine.

“The necessary clarifications of the specification for the ammonia-fueled ship to carry out ammonia bunkering in Singapore will be conducted among parties of this MoU, for the commercialisation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK added.


Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 19 July 2024

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Methanol Institute: Methanol fuel innovations and expansions (Week 28, 8 to 14 July 2024)

This week, advancements in methanol as a marine fuel included new additives reducing the need for pilot fuel, new eco-friendly tankers, and methanol-powered feeder ships in Rotterdam.





Methanol Institute logo

The Methanol Institute, provides an exclusive weekly commentary on developments related to the adoption of methanol as a bunker fuel, including significant related events recorded during the week, for the readers of bunkering publication Manifold Times:

Technology around the use of methanol as a marine fuel has continued to move forward, with the latest developments including an additive which removes the need for pilot fuel, further saving carbon emissions. Elsewhere, bunker networks, fuel transport and cargo capacity using cleaner methanol has continued to expand.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 28 of 2024:

Terntank orders Fifth Eco-Friendly Tanker with Methanol and Wind Propulsion

Date: July 8, 2024

Key Points:

Terntank has placed an order for a fifth vessel featuring wind-assisted propulsion and methanol fuel capabilities from China Merchants Jinling Shipyard. Scheduled for delivery between March 2025 and July 2027, the 15,000 DWT chemical and product tanker aims to enhance environmental performance. The company emphasized the benefits of these technologies, including reduced emissions and expanded shore power usage, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable shipping practices.

Fratelli Cosulich Orders Two New Bunker Vessels with Methanol and Biofuel Capabilities

Date: July 8, 2024

Key Points:

Fratelli Cosulich has ordered two 7,999 DWT bunker delivery vessels from Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding, capable of handling methanol, biofuel, and fuel oil. The first ship is expected in early 2026. This move reflects the company's commitment to sustainability and technological innovation. Methanol, known for its ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is a focal point of this initiative, supporting the transition to cleaner marine fuels.

X-Press Feeders Launches Methanol-Powered Feeder Ships in Rotterdam

Date: July 10, 2024

Key Points:

X-Press Feeders has introduced its first methanol-fueled ship, Eco-Maestro, in Rotterdam, launching Europe's first scheduled feeder network powered by green methanol. The network, comprising 14 ships, will operate routes in Northern Europe with methanol bunkering exclusively in Rotterdam. This initiative aims to support sustainable shipping and help companies achieve environmental goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

WinGD Completes Successful Tests on New Short-Stroke Methanol-Compatible Engine

Date: July 11, 2024

Key Points:

WinGD has successfully completed testing of its new X52-S2.0 short-stroke engine at the Yuchai Marine Power Co facility. This engine, now type-approved, is available in diesel, LNG, and methanol configurations, with an ammonia option in development. It features a compact design and high fuel efficiency, making it suitable for smaller vessels. The engine's methanol compatibility underscores its role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing sustainable maritime practices.

Infineum Explores Methanol Fuels for Heavy-Duty and Marine Engines with Innovative Additives

Date: July 11, 2024

Key Points: 

Paul Cooper and Joanna Hughes of Gane Energy spoke to Infineum Insight to discuss the advantages of methanol as fuel for heavy-duty and marine engines and how fuel additives can help to overcome some of the challenges.

One of the issues associated with methanol – in common with many alternative fuels  in marine applications – has been the need to use a pilot fuel to ignite it in the engine. Gane Energy has developed performance additives to methanol fuel, overcoming challenges like lubricity and corrosion. Their approach also eliminates the need for a diesel pilot fuel by converting methanol to dimethyl ether (DME) for ignition.

As the use of methanol grows in various transportation applications, the use of high quality fuel additives will be vital to ensure hardware protection, according to Infineum.


Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 19 July, 2024

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