“We need to watch out for emission levels, fuel consumption”
October 30, 2009
Amritha Pillay (ML): What are the current levels of CO2 emissions for the shipping industry across the globe?
IN Bose (INB): According to a combined study by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and Green House Gas (GHG) on total CO2 emissions for 2007, the total inventories were 1,019 million tonnes (MT). Out of which international shipping inventories were 843MT while the same for domestic shipping was 176MT. The study expects the emissions to grow at about 1.3% per annum.
ML: The European Union proposes to cut the shipping industry emissions by further 20% by 2020 from 2005 levels. What does this mean?
INB: As per the proposal, if you exceed the cap on emission norms, you will have to buy carbon credits from others or will have to undertake other activities like plantation and forestry.
ML: Will it affect the shipping industry and transporters?
INB: When a ship tranships a cargo from one point to the other, the cargo owner pays freight cost. This freight cost includes crew cost, actual freight cost besides a number of other factors. But after the new emission standards, shipping companies will have to incorporate the emission cost into the total freight and ultimately pass it on to consumers.
ML: What are the steps planned by the shipping industry to attain greater fuel efficiency?
INB: Right now there are no limitations, no law or rule on the same. So we need to develop new rules, like the new vessels to have a minimum level of fuel efficiency and there should be regulation to determine the CO2 emissions on per tonne movement of cargo. On existing ships too, every ship-owner will have to economise on the fuel consumption. GE Shipping has already started a programme for measurement of fuel consumption and CO2 emission and is finding ways to cut down the same.
ML: What about using alternative energy sources in shipping?
INB: Shore-side electricity is a debatable issue. It would be better to look at options like solar energy and new technologies like using air bubbles from compressed air to reduce friction. We wanted this to be done for our existing and new ships two years ago and contacted a number of agencies. However, it could not materialise as the agencies were not able to replicate the technology on large vessels, as the developers themselves tested it on smaller vessels.
ML: How economical and viable is the option of retro-fitting of engines to the shipping industry?
INB: Retro-fitting for certain segments in the shipping industry is possible. Retro-fitting of hull appendages makes economic sense for container ships, but may not be the same in case of tankers. However, in the present state, retro-fitting is not a very economical option for shipping companies.