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Ecoshipping: the next frontier

World Coal,

At the 33rd Coaltrans World Coal Conference, Berlin, Cesare D’Amico, CEO of D’Amico Shipping Italia, told delegates at the conference that it was vital the shipping industry – and by inference the coal industry that relies on shipping for seaborne trade – begin to invest in so called ‘Ecoships’.

D’Amico explained that Ecoships and Ecoshipping were based on designing ships with optimal efficiency in saving of fuel consumption – and that the term came from basing designs of ships on foundations with both economical and ecological considerations.

A ships ‘Energy Design Index’ (EDI), D’Amico said, “Must reduce NOx, SOx, and other green house gas emissions.” While the current industry standard is for vessels to practice so called “slow steaming” he said that this practice did not necessarily lead to similarly low greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption as Ecoships, despite views to the contrary.

Need for a long-term outlook

At present, D’Amico suggested that the shipping industry was somewhat short-sighted in its outlook, with little attention given to long-term planning or considerations. Shipholders and shipbuilders, he said, must “look further forward to the long-term and develop more efficient vessels.”

D’Amico addressed concerns that the design of Ecoships may reduce DWT capacity of vessels, and assured delegates at Coaltrans that while the design did sometimes reduce DWT limits, it was not by a “significant” amount, and that “the benefits in fuel consumption reduction and greenhouse gas emissions outweight any reduction in DWT.”

Pending regulation

Once more stressing the need to look ahead, D’Amico reminded delegates of new rules that are set to be implemented in 2018 for vessels regarding the ecological impact of ships. Ignoring this impending regulation, he said, would again be “short-sighted.”

Potential for growth

According to D’Amico, the Ecoshipping industry will experience supply and demand growth in the not too distant future.

Current vessels that make up shipping fleets will need to be scrapped in the “coming years,” D’Amico said. This would encourage the building of new ships with this ‘Eco’ design. 

Written by Sam Dodson

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