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Study claims ships are becoming less efficient

Study claims ships are becoming less efficient

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Recent improvements in the design efficiency of new ships went into reverse last year, a new study claims. According to the CE Delft report the average design efficiency of new bulk carriers, oil tankers and gas carriers was worse in 2016 than in 2015. The share of new ships complying with future efficiency standards also decreased in 2016. The design efficiency of containerships and general cargo ships appears to be stagnating after a period of improvement.

Green groups Transport & Environment (T&E) and Seas At Risk, which commissioned the study, said that tightening of the EEDI requirements in 2017 and 2018 should be a priority for the IMO and that proposals from industry and some governments to delay should be resisted.

Faig Abbasov, shipping officer at T&E, said: “Despite a clear trend of increasing over-compliance with ship design efficiency standards over recent years, ships built in 2016 mark a clear break from this tendency. Unless EEDI requirements are tightened, there is a risk that this backsliding could continue back to efficiency levels merely required by regulation. The significant gap between achieved efficiency levels and what is required by the regulation only underlines the urgency to ensure the requirements match the levels of efficiency that industry has clearly shown it is capable of achieving.”

The analysis shows that 14% of bulk carriers, 52% of containerships, 23% of tankers, 21% of gas carriers and 55% of general cargo ships that entered the fleet in 2016 already met the 2025 design efficiency standard. T&E and Seas At Risk say the ease with which ships over-comply exposes the weakness of the efficiency standard and the urgent need for it to be strengthened.

John Maggs, senior policy advisor at Seas At Risk, said: “Tighter ship design efficiency standards are an obvious low hanging fruit as the IMO embarks on the development of a comprehensive strategy to tackle climate change. The study shows both the potential of design standards to mitigate future ship greenhouse gas emissions and the very real danger that if the IMO doesn’t act quickly then hard-won design efficiency gains will be lost.”

The IMO is discussing these issues at its environment committee meeting in London this week.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrew Craig-Bennett
    July 4, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Funnily enough I heard the very same thing at an anecdotal level last week when chatting to an old friend who recently retired as Fleet Director of a large shipowner. It may simply reflect a short term trend, rather than a secular one.