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Greek Shipowners Back Ship Power Limitation Proposal

Greek shipowners have expressed their support for a proposal to limit the ships’ power as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the industry.

The Union of Greek Shippers further announced a proposal for a short-term, prescriptive measure to improve the operational energy efficiency of existing ships, to be considered at the forthcoming meeting of the IMO’s intersessional technical group in November.

The proposal supplements the strengthened Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (super SEEMP) in a way that the accomplishment of the UN IMO 2030 target is ensured, according to the union.

The measure prescribes the limit of the main engine power that ships over 5,000 GT can use under normal circumstances to maintain the level of CO2 emissions from ships at a historical low (2012) over a three-year phase-in period, commencing before 2023.

The sectoral prescriptive approach it takes prescribes that bulk carriers and tankers reduce their main engine power by 50% and containerships by 66%. The measure includes a review clause to allow for rectifying action by the IMO, if necessary.

The union explained that the proposal was primarily compatible with the modus operandi of bulk/tramp shipping, where charterers play a determining role in the ship’s operation and this is why the shipowners’ commitment alone to a ship’s operational efficiency through goal-based measures, KPIs etc may not be enough to effect a change in the ship’s carbon footprint.

“Charterers should clearly be obliged to adhere to any measure adopted to reduce GHG emissions from ships,” the President of the UGS, Mr. Theodore Veniamis underlined.

“Greece’s proposal is simple, transparent, easily enforceable and accommodates sectoral specificities without distorting competition, which is a paramount consideration. Moreover, it allows for early action and beginning of implementation prior to 2023, leads to direct absolute GHG emissions reductions, to SOx, NOx and underwater noise reductions, while it also factors in safety and allows for medium to long-term innovation, rewarding more efficient ships.”

The Greek proposal follows a similar one introduced by Japan. Earlier this month, shipping association BIMCO elaborated that the power limit should be derived for each shipping sector from an assumed performance of an average ship sailing at current average trading speed within each sector.

The propulsion power limit is being proposed as a possible alternative to the slow steaming proposal.