Business, Freight News, Logistics, Sea

Emission targets are unrealistic

[ November 29, 2011   //   ]

Think again on sulphur rules, says ferry group Trade association Interferry is warning that operators in northern Europe face a near-impossible choice in trying to meet the 2015 deadline for ultra-low sulphur emissions from bunker fuel. It said that the legislation would also lead to a shift from short-sea to overland transport.

Under pending IMO and soon to be agreed European Union (EU) environmental requirements, vessels operating in the Baltic, North Sea and Channel Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will have to comply with a 0.1% limit on fuel sulphur content. Interferry says however that the 2015 timescale is ‘mission impossible´.

None of the options suggested by the European Commission are suitable, it adds – for example LNG fuel is only an option for new vessels due to the prohibitive cost of converting existing vessels, and in any case the LNG fuel supply infrastructure is inadequate.

Nor is scrubber technology a ‘miracle cure – a new Interferry feasibility study covering 108 vessels from six leading operators reveals that scrubbers would not be technically or financially viable for 60% of the existing fleet.  Furthermore, trial installations among association members have shown that it will not be possible to have scrubbers in operation in time for 2015 for the other 40%.