We are happy to notice a growing concern for the marine environment. The disposal of ships’ waste in Western Europe (Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) may reach new ‘records’, shipping lines on the other hand are announcing new eco-designed ships.

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With the announced investments in new LNG terminals and LNG bunker vessels alternative fuels such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and methanol are slowly increasing their market share. Lloyds Registry reckons that the use of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) will decrease to about 40% by 2030.

Figure 1 illustrates a possible scenario – using our forecast on future marine fuel consumption and energy efficiency improvement as well as Lloyds Registry’s estimate on market shares of HFO and LNG.

  • Mainly due to the efficiency improvement of the legacy fleet the need of low sulphur fuels will be driven down, equivalent to adding about 110 million tons of fuels, or almost 24% of projected demand.
  • HFO combined with scrubber, EEDI, and distillates (MGO and MDO) each represent about 20% of the fuel use.
  • LNG is coming of age, with its share doubling between 2020 and 2030.
  • Other fuels, such as renewables, fuel cells, and biofuels, are still expected to hold only small market shares in 2030.

The use of scrubbers to meet the low sulphur requirements also shows promising results. Almost every 2 to 3 months a new scrubber system is announced to be on trial. Regretfully, there still isn’t an unequivocal legislation concerning the application of scrubbers, as disposal criteria for discharge water are decided upon by the states were the vessel is operating.

Sweden forbids the use of Open Loop Scrubbers in their waters, whereas other states like Belgium have a principal ban on the disposal of polluted waters in coastal waters and on rivers. However, in the latter countries, competent authorities are willing to study the impact of the discharge water on the receiving water. Should this be minimal, they might consider working out a kind of licensing system.

Other positive developments are noticed in ship recycling. Export regulations concerning ships destined for demolition in certain areas of the Far East are enforced more stringently. Furthermore, Hapag Lloyd announced it stops offering old ships for sale on the second hand market, but will instead send them straight to scrapping yards qualified to handle all (hazardous) waste.

Baudouin Ska