World Maritime News

WMNF 2018/12/25


Singapore will ban open-loop scrubbers in port while Australia ponders open-loop scrubber ban

Singapore is to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in the run-up to the 2020 sulphur cap.

The restriction, announced by the Maritime & Port Authority, comes amid rising debate about the environmental impact of this type of onboard exhaust gas cleaning system. The discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in Singapore port water will be prohibited, MPA chief executive Andrew Tan told.

The Australian government is consulting with local authorities regarding a potential ban on open-loop scrubbers, adding to the ongoing uncertainty about the future of the contentious compliance tool ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap. A ban in Australia could be significant, as the country is a top coal and ore exporter in the world.

Open-loop scrubbers are already banned in Belgium, California, Massachusetts, along Germany’s Rhine river and China’s Maritime Safety Administration who recently confirmed that they would not be allowed for use in inland water transport.

Two of the world’s largest scrubber suppliers say they are not concerned by Singapore’s decision, predicting that interested and invested owners will simply convert or install hybrid systems instead. Yara Marine Technologies chief sales and marketing officer Kai Latum claimed that burning compliant fuels leads to greater carbon emissions than burning heavy fuel oil with scrubbers does.

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Guangzhou to give cash handouts to low-sulphur ships

Guangzhou is poised to roll out an incentive initiative to further reduce shipping emissions.

The move comes in the run-up to China’s blanket sulphur cap that covers nearly all of its territorial waters. Shipping companies have to ensure that vessels entering the Pearl River Delta emission control area and calling at the Guangzhou burn fuel with no more than 0.1 % Sulphur content in order to be entitled to the low-sulphur subsidies. They also need to sign up to the Green Shipping Convention, which Guangzhou Port Authority initiated in 2016 with the participation of more than 80 maritime firms, including Maersk, CMA CGM and Cosco Shipping. Guangzhou’s plan also included subsidies for terminal operators that install and provide shore power to vessels at berth.

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Greek shipowners applaud IMO body’s action on 2020 fuel safety

The Union of Greek Shipowners, which has been among the most prominent bodies urging the IMO not to neglect ship safety in the wake of legislation to curb emissions, have warmly welcomed a move made week 49 by the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO to tackle safety concerns related to switching to low-sulphur fuels. The subject has been put on the agenda for the next MSC meeting and member states and international organizations invited to submit concrete proposals for measures to enhance ship safety relating to the use of fuel oil. The target date to complete new measures for this purpose is 2021.

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The Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on port state control organizations are joining forces to warn vessels that risk violating the 2020 sulphur cap

Two leading port state control organizations are to start issuing warnings to vessels that appear unprepared to comply with the 0.5% sulphur cap ahead of 2020. The Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding, two distinct organizations that respectively comprise regional maritime authorities from Europe and Asia-Pacific, will throughout 2019 inspect vessels and examine whether they are prepared to meet the new emissions rules coming into effect on January 1, 2020. In a joint statement, the two organizations said they would start issuing a letter of warning from January 1 2019 on the sulphur content of marine fuels during inspections, in order to increase awareness and to encourage timely compliance with the new requirements. There are nonetheless widespread concerns that not all port state control authorities will be equally vigilant in their implementation of the regulations.

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MOL and Uniper to collaborate on first FSRU project for Germany

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Uniper, a German energy company, will work together on Germany’s first LNG floating storage and regasification unit terminal. The FSRU has a planned send-out capacity of 10 billion m3 a year and an LNG storage capacity of 263,000 m3. It could be in operation as early as the second half of 2022. The FSRU will also be designed to allow for the loading of small-scale barges to enable the use of LNG as marine fuel. In addition, there will be options for onward transportation of LNG to onshore destinations on trucks.

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ONE agrees Singapore terminal deal with PSA

Ocean Network Express is entering a joint venture with PSA to operate a terminal at Singapore’s Pasir Panjang Terminal. The facility is due to start operations in the first half of 2019 following regulatory approval. It will operate four mega container berths with a combined annual handling capacity of 4 million teu.

The terminals at Pasir Panjang are the most advanced of PSA’s Singapore terminals. Berths are at 4,5 and 6 are up to 18 m deep and equipped with quay cranes able to reach across 24 rows of containers to serve the world’s largest container ships.

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Panama Canal and Brazilian port link up to promote Asia trade

The Panama Canal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazil’s port of Itaqui to promote trade between northern Brazil and the Far East, with a special focus on the transport of Brazilian grains to Asia.

Under the agreement, the two sides seek to co-operate in the optimization of the internal transportation that is used to move soybeans and other cargoes from Brazil through Panama Canal. The new terminals in the north are closer to markets in Central America, Europe and Asia, which reduces shipping costs and increases competitiveness of soybeans and corn produced in northern and northeastern areas of Brazil such as Mato Grosso, Tocantins Pará.

The Agreement between the Panama Canal and the Itaqui seeks to build on the assumption that China will continue to import Brazil’s soybeans. How long that assumption will stay valid remains to be seen.

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