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Hydrogen

World’s first hydrogen-powered inland shipping barge “Antonie” receives LR approval

Vessel successfully underwent sea trials on 23 October during which it was inspected by Lloyd’s Register and received a provisional certificate to be put into service.

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World’s first hydrogen-powered inland shipping barge “Antonie” receives LR approval

Concordia Damen on Thursday (16 November) said the world’s first new-build hydrogen-powered inland shipping barge Antonie successfully underwent sea trials on 23 October.

During the trials, the ship was inspected by Lloyd's Register and received a provisional certificate to be put into service.

With the hydrogen containers expected to arrive by the end of this year and not installed on board yet, the firm said full attention could be given to testing the advanced diesel-electric propulsion system.

Bart van Driel, Project Manager at Concordia Damen, said: "The fuel cell will soon serve as an energy supplier for the battery packs after the installation of the distribution panel and the placement of the hydrogen containers. The fuel cell itself, which converts hydrogen into electricity, has already been installed on board.”

“Once the distribution panel is delivered, it is just a matter of sizing and manufacturing the final pieces of piping and adjusting the fuel cell installation itself. The diesel generator will then no longer be used, so the Antonie will sail completely emission-free.”

Pieter Baggerman, Naval Architect at Concordia Damen and closely involved in the ship design, said: “We look forward to the Antonie being able to sail her first fully emission-free miles before the end of the year.”

Photo credit: Concordia Damen
Published: 17 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

T&E study highlights two-thirds of European green bunker fuel projects at risk

Nearly 4% of European shipping could run on green e-fuels by 2030 but only a third of these projects are guaranteed as fuel suppliers fear a lack of demand.

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T&E study highlights two-thirds of European green bunker fuel projects at risk

A new Transport & Environment (T&E) study published on Monday (3 June) showed two-thirds of European green shipping fuel projects are at risk.

T&E’s mapping of green hydrogen projects across Europe shows that nearly 4% of European shipping could run on green e-fuels by 2030. 

“But fuel suppliers appear to be reluctant to commit financially to projects without more guarantees that there will be demand for these fuels in the near future,” T&E said. 

“This means the vast majority of projects may never come online in this decade, putting Europe’s climate ambitions and thousands of jobs at risk.”

Inesa Ulichina, shipping officer at T&E, said: “Hydrogen projects are popping up across Europe. They have the potential to power hard-to-decarbonise sectors like shipping and provide thousands of good jobs. But at the moment there just isn’t enough certainty and we risk missing this golden opportunity.”

There are at least 17 projects across Europe, set up to provide hydrogen-based e-fuels for ships. If all of these projects become operational, they could meet nearly 4% of EU shipping’s total energy demand by 2030. T&E found 44 other hydrogen projects in Europe that could also provide green fuels for ships, but project developers eye other hydrogen-hungry industries, too.

The mapped projects would easily meet the European Union’s target of 2% green e-fuels in 2034, however, most projects are yet to receive funding and not a single shipping-dedicated project is operational. Fuel producers cite a lack of buyer certainty and investment security as major obstacles. This puts millions of tonnes of green fuels and thousands of skilled jobs at risk. Globally, it is estimated that green shipping could create 4 million new jobs by 2050.

Denmark alone accounts for more than half of all the planned hydrogen volumes across the 61 projects mapped by T&E. But in terms of fuels earmarked for shipping, Spain leads the way and is home to a third of the potential fuel supplies. Despite its large coastline, the UK has very few projects while T&E found none in Italy and Greece.

In the long run, e-ammonia appears to be the more popular option, making up 77% of potential volumes. To date, however, none of these projects has received a final investment decision.

Inesa Ulichina, concluded: “Shipping has a chicken and egg problem. E-fuels producers are waiting for clearer demand signals from ship operators before making large investments.”

“Shipping operators, on the other hand, are waiting for these fuels to scale up and become cheaper before signing off-take agreements. The EU should ensure more supply and demand of e-fuels through regulation, which will provide fuel producers and shipping companies with investment certainty.”

T&E recommended that member states mandate at least 1.2% of shipping fuels to be e-fuels by 2030, as recommended by the EU’s green fuels law (RED III). This would secure all the current projects that have already received funding and allow more projects to reach the final investment decision. Revenues from the EU’s carbon market for shipping (ETS) should also be used to help nascent projects, says T&E.

 

Photo credit: Transport & Environment
Published: 6 June 2024

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Decarbonisation

Gard on FuelEU: Monitoring plans must be ready in August

FuelEU Maritime will come into effect from 1 January 2025, but monitoring plans for vessels already calling at European ports must be submitted by 31 August 2024, says Gard.

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Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

Maritime protection and indemnity (P&I) club Gard on Monday (3 June) published an insight to remind companies calling at European ports to get ready before the end of the summer.

FuelEU Maritime will come into effect from 1 January 2025, but monitoring plans for vessels already calling at European ports must be submitted by 31 August 2024: 

The purpose of the FuelEU Maritime(FuelEU) is to stimulate shipping’s uptake of renewable and low-carbon fuels to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Vessels trading within or calling at the EU/EEA, regardless of their flag, will have to comply with the GHG emission limits of the energy used onboard. Further details about the regulation can be found in our introductory article.

Whilst vessels over 5,000 GT have had to submit Monitoring Reporting Verification (MRV) data since 2018, the FuelEU Monitoring Plan is separate to this. Vessels cannot rely upon existing MRV monitoring plans. 

Instead, a new Monitoring Plan is required, although aspects of the existing MRV plan can be used. 

Who needs to comply?

The company responsible for compliance with FuelEU (the company) is always the ISM company, i.e. the Document of Compliance (DoC) holder, irrespective of whether the DoC holder is the registered owner, a bareboat charterer, or a third-party technical ship manager. As the majority of owners delegate ISM Code responsibilities, in reality the responsible entity is likely to be the technical manager.

This contrasts with the EU ETS, where the responsible company may be the owner or the DoC Holder. As such, the responsible shipping company may differ for the EU ETS and FuelEU. The company must register with an Administering Authority, which is fortunately the same entity as that for EU ETS compliance. 

In cases of compliance deficit and FuelEU penalties, the entity responsible for purchasing the fuel or for taking operational decisions that affect the vessel’s GHG emissions could be required to reimburse the ISM company for these penalties.

What does this mean in practice?

Companies will need to submit a separate FuelEU Monitoring Plan for each of their vessels. The EU Commission has produced a draft template Monitoring Plan, which has recently been subject to public consultation. The standardised template was expected to be published in the first quarter of 2024. According to the European Commission’s website, the template is currently “in preparation”, along with the technical rules for the template’s uniform application.

Monitoring Plans, which can be amended for the particular vessel, are available from classification societies and other third parties accredited by the European Maritime Safety Agency. Some verifiers provide this in an online form format.

Monitoring Plans cannot be submitted to classification societies/accredited third parties for verification until the official EU template standard Monitoring Plan and supporting documentation have been published. This is scheduled for the end of June 2024. Companies will then have July and August to submit their Monitoring Plans to their chosen verifier.

For vessels falling under the scope of the Regulation for the first time after 31 August 2024, companies should submit a Monitoring Plan to the verifier no later than two months after each vessel’s first call at a EU/EEA port.

Well-to-wake GHG emissions

FuelEU is based on a Well-to-Wake approach to the GHG emissions of the energy used onboard a vessel. This means that the emissions in producing and transporting the fuel to the bunker tanks are taken into account, as well as the emissions when the fuel is burned. 

Compliance in the first instance requires the use of certified biofuels, LNG, LPG, auxiliary power units (fuel cells), shore power, wind-assisted propulsion, or a combination of these. As zero or near-zero emission fuels (e-methanol, e-ammonia, e-hydrogen) are more widely available, these will enable compliance as the FuelEU GHG limits further reduce from 2030.

The purpose of the Monitoring Plan is to monitor, record and report data about the types and quantities of fuel or other sources of energy used onboard and the GHG emissions associated with them.

Key elements of the revised Monitoring Plan

Vessels trading in the EU/EEA countries should have the approved FuelEU Maritime Monitoring Plan on board before 1 January 2025. Once the Monitoring Plan is finalised, the verifier should record it in the FuelEU database. The Monitoring Plan should be accessible to the Administering State.

The FuelEU Monitoring Plan is detailed and must include the following key elements, amongst other information:

Emissions sources are to be listed and described, such as main engines, auxiliary engines, fuel cells, and waste incinerators.

Fuel types are also to be listed and described, for example: ‘H2 (Fossil)’, ‘NH3 (Fossil), ‘Methanol (Fossil)’, ‘Ethanol’, ‘Bio-diesel’, ‘Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO)’, ‘e-diesel’, ‘e-methanol’, ‘e-LNG’, ‘e-H2’, and ‘e-NH3’. Where there is fuel blending, each component of the blended fuel must be considered as a separate fuel.

The emission factor to be applied to each fuel type applicable over the reporting period must be identified.

A description of the relevant procedures to update emissions sources, fuel types, fuel consumption and activity data per voyage (such as distance travelled, cargo carried, time spent at sea).

A description of the control system to be put in place, which should include written procedures for data flow activities, risk assessment, and control activities.

Procedures for monitoring the fuel consumption of each fuel type as well as the energy provided by substitute sources or a zero-emission technology. A description of the procedures for monitoring and reporting the well-to-tank and tank-to-wake emission factors of energy to be used on board.

 

Photo credit: Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash
Published: 4 June 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Clyde & Co: Specification and certification ‘key issues’ of alternative bunker fuels in both supply and charterparty contracts

‘It is clear there are significant benefits from the use of alternative marine fuels, but there are also significant risks,” highlights Paul Collier, Partner at Clyde & Co.

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Clyde & Co: Specification and certification ‘key issues’ of alternative bunker fuels in both supply and charterparty contracts

Specification and certification are “key issues” relating to alternative bunker fuels which should be considered at the outset when drafting the terms of bunker supply contracts and charterparties, according to a Partner at the Singapore arm of global legal firm Clyde & Co.

Paul Collier was giving a presentation at the firm’s Asia Pacific Marine Conference 2024 on Wednesday (29 May) when he pointed out the potential legal issues of alternative marine fuels.

Lack of clear specifications

“Firstly, specifications. Leaving aside LNG where there are already ISO standards, there is currently a lack of clear specifications covering alternative bunker fuels. This is because alternative fuels are a developing technology,” stated Collier.

He recommended bunker buyers to clearly state the specification of the fuel required when purchasing alternative fuels such as biofuel, methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen to know what product they are getting.

When no clear international standard is available, bunker buyers may refer to national standards – for example, the WA 2: 2022 standard for biofuels (developed by Singapore) – or alternatively agree to bespoke terms setting out the specification of the alternative marine fuel to be supplied.

Certification important for shipowners

Collier, meanwhile, highlighted alternative bunker fuels to be only as green as the production process and this is where obtaining proper certification for procured material will be important.

“There are two parts to consider. Firstly, what the emissions are when the alternative marine fuel is consumed by a vessel, and secondly what the emissions are to produce and then transport the fuel into the vessel’s tank,” he explained.

“There is a question as to whether buyers should be able to claim damages if there is an alternative fuel which has produced with high carbon intensity.

“A bunker supplier may contend that their obligation is simply to provide fuel meeting specification, and there is no warranty as to its carbon footprint, whereas a purchaser may say that they expected carbon neutral fuel.

“This will boil down to the terms and conditions of supply that are agreed and in particular whether there is a warranty as to the well-to-wake emissions of the fuel.”

Collier noted the above factors to be important as certification will be key to Owners obtaining favourable treatment under the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and European Union (EU) regimes.

“Without certification, alternative marine fuels may be treated as producing emissions equivalent to fossil fuel consumption,” he informed while adding “this would place Owners in no better position compared to if they had consumed traditional oil-based bunker fuel.”

Charterparty issues arising from specification and certification gaps

Moving forward, Collier noted all points regarding specification and certification to be highly relevant in the Charterparty context.

“Where Owners are time chartering their vessels, and their time charterers are acquiring bunkers, it is sensible for Owners to include provisions in their time charters which set out firstly, the specification and  secondly, certification requirements for any alternative fuels,” he stated.

“As mentioned, certification is key to the vessel obtaining favourable treatment under the CII and EU regimes. Without it, vessels may face unexpected penalties under these regimes.”

Further, Collier recommended it may be worthwhile for Owners and Charterers under long term charters to consider allocating costs and benefits of any modifications required to consume alternative bunker fuels.

“Here, the potential benefits of allowing a vessel to consume alternative fuels are high, but so are the costs of any retrofits. Owners and Charterers may wish to consider agreeing cost allocation clauses which share both the benefits and costs,” he advised.

“There are also potential risks for consuming alternative fuels. Who is to bear the risks of problems? It may be worthwhile Owners considering including in their charterparties express terms which provide that any alternative fuel bunkers supplied by their time charterers will be fit for purpose and capable of being consumed by the Vessel’s engines.

“By contrast, Charterers should be aware that there is a risk that the cause of engine problems may not be the fuel itself. Issues could, for example, be due to the handling of fuel, or problems with vessel maintenance, which are typically the responsibility of Owners.

“There may therefore be disputes as to whether the vessels are off-hire following engine problems and who will bear the repair costs.

“In summary, it is clear there are significant benefits from the use of alternative fuels, but there are also significant risks. It is worth considering the legal and contractual implications early given their potential ramifications.”

 

Photo credit: Clyde & Co
Published: 31 May 2024

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