The North American Emission Control Area, which came into effect today (August 1) will have a far-reaching impact on the cost of operating ships. Compliance strategies and best practices will be hot topics at the upcoming SHIPPINGInsight Fleet Optimization Conference.
I’m sure you saw the news that the North American Emission Control Area is now in effect. This means ships operating on the coasts of North America will have to comply with the new limits on emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter. North America is the third ECA in effect. The other two are the Baltic Sea and North Sea. A fourth ECA covering Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is expected to be established next year.
Ships can comply with the SOx requirements by switching to low-sulfur fuel oil, installing approved scrubber technology or alternate fuels such as LNG. Marine diesel engines installed on ships built after January 1, 2011, must meet the MARPOL Tier II standards for NOx emissions, and ships built after January 1, 2016 will have to meet the more stringent Tier III NOx standard.
Ships not meeting the standards will presumably have to be routed around the ECA compliance zones. This will of course be impossible for ships trading in U.S. ports or in much of Northern Europe.
It’s interesting to note that at least one ship routing software supplier, Applied Weather Technology, announced today that ECA zones will be displayed on their voyage planning screens.
As fleets struggle to reduce the rising costs of ship operation, the costs of regulatory compliance will have to be weighed with the other variables to optimize efficiency.
I encourage you to attend the 2012 SHIPPINGInsight Fleet Optimization Conference, where the costs and strategies for regulatory compliance will be discussed. The conference will take place October 9-10 in Stamford, Connecticut. You can register online and take advantage of early-bird discounts.
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