IACS Council launches safe decarbonisation panel

Meeting in London this week the IACS Council, featuring repesentatives from the world’s leading classification societies, held its 85th session during which it formed a safe decarbonisation panel (SDP) to support shipping through this multi-faceted, multi-decadal challenge.

“Giving decarbonisation the same focus as the traditional areas of Safety, Environment, Hull, Machinery, Survey & Cyber significantly enhances the association’s ability to address safe decarbonisation concerns and support the protection of human life, property and the marine environment,” IACS stated in a release.

The SDP will immediately convene four project teams to work on ammonia, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and batteries. Additionally, the SDP will also evaluate current work streams at IMO on methyl/ethyl alcohols with a view to undertaking further work as appropriate. Other alternative fuels and technologies will be considered by the SDP subsequently.

The SDP has also adopted a structured consultative approach so that all stakeholders – fuel manufacturers, technology providers, owners, builders and marine insurance – have multiple and multi-layered opportunities to engage with IACS at strategic, operational and technical levels.

IACS chair Nick Brown, who is the CEO of Lloyd’s Register, said the new panel allows for an “over-arching view” on new initiatives, whether they be related to the propulsion of the vessels or to the changing nature of the cargoes ships will carry.

Class societies have been issuing plenty of guidance recently on how shipping can safely handle the new swathe of fuels coming to market with Splash reporting earlier this week on studies carried out by Lloyd’s Register and Bureau Veritas into ammonia, a noxious fuel that has many seafarers concerned about its future mass use.

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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