Many of our members continue to operate in challenging circumstances. Shipping is in a deep crisis. Overcapacity in the shipping sector is a fact, prices are weak putting shipping lines’ prices and profitability under severe pressure. Consequences are bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping and take-over of other shipping lines and a growing number of spills at sea. They are not necessarily illegal discharges, but more operational discharges possibly end up in the sea.
In certain countries, we notice that the sale of collected and treated oil water mixtures is “drying up”. Cleaned oil water mixtures can be sold to licensed cement factories, power stations and the steel industry for co-incineration. Due to the weak economy and environmental developments, cement factories are not operating at full capacity and some changed to using cheaper natural gas instead of fuel. Some important clients in the steel industry have changed their energy mix. All this, means that the sale of cleaned waste oil volumes in northern and western Europe dropped with 75%.
But there is also some good news. 2016 has been an important year for shipping and port reception facilities of ship generated waste. IMO agreed in the last MEPC that in 2020 ships should use low sulphur fuel (0,5%). And, after 12 years, the Ballast Water Management Convention 2004 enters into force, which will impact the provision of port reception facilities for ballast water and ballast sediments.
I wish all of you a very pleasant holiday season and a positive start of 2017.