Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Two Groups Clean Up as Container and Other Ocean Freight Vessels Eye Emissions

Air and Waterborne Logistics Pollution Under the Microscope
Shipping News Feature
US – EUROPE – WORLDWIDE – At a time when everyone in the logistics game is concentrating on cleaning up their respective acts two companies in very different fields are each ‘doing their bit’ to ensure shipping lines reach their emission targets as regards air and waterborne emissions. Vessels such as containerships will have to contend with ever severer restrictions on what they pump out into the atmosphere and the oceans, and with fierce competition for every kilogramme of freight operators are also conscious of having to keep a weather eye on costs.

Five shipping companies, DFDS Seaways, Euronav Ship Management, NEDA Maritime Agency, Seaspan Ship Management and Synergy Maritime, have appointed Verifavia Shipping to ensure they are compliant with the latest European Commission’s (EC) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) rules. MRV Regulation 2015/757 came into force in July 2015 and is viewed as a first step towards cutting CO2 emissions from maritime transport in the European Union (EU). From 2018, it will require operators of ships exceeding 5,000 gross tonnes to monitor, report and submit their independently verified carbon emissions on all voyages to, from and between EU ports.

The accreditation process is not yet open to potential verifiers of maritime transport. Verifavia has been accredited for the aviation sector since 2010 and will apply to UKAS for extended accreditation as soon as the process has been finalised. In the meantime, Verifavia Shipping is performing ‘pre-verification gap analysis’ audits as well as independent carbon emissions verification for shipping companies for trial purposes and on an informal basis.

These studies are to determine any outstanding issues with regard to compliance and system design which, when reported to the principal, can be corrected in advance of legislation. As part of the audit, Verifavia Shipping assesses the existing data accounting procedures and systems against the requirements of the Shipping MRV Regulation to identify any potential issues and non-compliance. Verifavia Shipping also reviews each company’s voyages, fuel and cargo data collection, and transmission and transformation procedures, and performs preliminary analysis of carbon emissions and activity data.

The shipping company's operational documentation is also reviewed to determine if it contains sufficient details for the implementation of the allowed fuel consumption monitoring methods. Julien Dufour, CEO, of Verifavia, commented:

“As an experienced verification company, we understand that MRV is new to the shipping industry, which is why we are committed to sharing information and partnering with ship owners, operators and managers to help them navigate MRV compliance efficiently and effectively. At present, we are providing pre-verification gap analysis to support shipping companies in becoming MRV ready.”

Verifavia’s longstanding experience of verification in other transport sectors led the company to be invited to join the European Commission's Shipping MRV subgroup of experts on verification and accreditation. The objectives of the subgroup are to discuss key technical details regarding verification and accreditation of verifiers, and to feed into the Commission’s work for the preparation of the delegated and implementing acts pursuant to the Regulation 2015/757.

Whilst the Verifavia study concerns itself with airborne pollution, Norwegian ballast water treatment specialist Optimarin has become the first UV system supplier to meet the most stringent USCG marine water requirements, positioning the Norwegian company for full USCG approval in 2016. The system utilises UV irradiation and back-flushing filters to wipe out invasive organisms that stow away in ballast. Systems employing UV lamps have so far proven their ability to meet the MPN standard, rendering organisms unable to reproduce, but, until now, none has achieved the instant kill capability demanded by USCG.

Optimarin’s type approved Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) is certified by a comprehensive range of classification organisations, including DNV GL, Lloyd’s, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping. Recent testing of Optimarin’s system was carried out by DNV GL at the NIVA test facility in Norway. Further tests of remaining water salinities are now scheduled for spring 2016, after which point approval is expected later in the year. The company is investing some $3 million in the comprehensive approval programme. Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen said:

“This is a great endorsement of our system’s effectiveness and the expertise of our team. USCG approval is crucial, so we’re happy to be so far down the line in achieving it. Without a USCG approved system ships won’t be able to discharge ballast water in US waters. For shipowners with global fleets and route networks, not having such a system would impact massively on their operational footprint and overall fleet flexibility.”

Andersen added that the company’s 35kw UV lamp technology was the key factor by killing potentially harmful invasive organisms straightaway. This technical efficacy, in addition to the firm’s established success with retrofits, delivers ‘complete peace of mind’ for shipowners forced to comply with both USCG regulations and the upcoming ratification of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.