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In line with current thinking globally, IMO the International Maritime Organisation has decreed that all vessels must reduce their CO2 emissions per capacity-mile by at least 40% by 2030 and low emissions in ports.  This is now referred to as decarbonisation.

It is only to be expected that there is going to be some requirement to reduce ships’ greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions but this seems to be a bit drastic to me, who I must admit, has no idea whatsoever what it should ideally be.

However, I was both impressed and inspired when I read about a new bulk carrier design from Japan’s Oshima Shipbuilding.  It is designed to have a 50% better EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) than comparable vessels. The design, the Oshima Ultramax 2300, is the first to result from a long term strategic cooperation agreement between the shipbuilder and classification society DNV GL, which was set up in response to the IMO strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  It maximizes operational performance while minimizing emissions by utilizing LNG as fuel, an optimized hull shape, a sail to generate extra propulsion, as well as solar panels and a battery to cover the hotel load during waiting times and port operations.

The partners aim to continue the strategic cooperation through to 2030, developing and updating a road map towards the IMO zero emissions scenario, which will be gradually implemented through annual joint industry projects (JIPs), where other partners will be invited to join.

“Oshima and DNV GL have already had a close cooperation for many years, resulting in close to 200 ships delivered or on order from Oshima to DNV GL class, and with this strategic agreement we want to extend this cooperation even further,” said Eiichi Hiraga, President of Oshima Shipbuilding. “We are delighted to deliver new, innovative designs together in the years to come.”

“To help the industry meet the ambitious GHG reduction targets set by the IMO, the industry needs to come together to advance ship design, taking advantage of both existing and new technologies,” said Trond Hodne, Director of Sales & Marketing at DNV GL. “This partnership shows how much can come of this approach. The design halves the EEDI of comparable vessels and sets a new standard for low emission bulk carriers. Our relationship with Oshima stretches back many years and we look forward to continue working together in the future.”

I have read in other places that some pundits are dubious about the ability to achieve such commendable but very stringent objectives, even to the point of suggesting that globally and absolutely such targets will never be achieved.  Considering the whole decarbonising programme is worldwide and dependent on every country being involved, I have to agree.  However, the old proverb about ‘Every little helps’ will still play a hugely significant part in this important legislation from IMO.  It should be applauded as a sure sign of the world’s marine sector policing itself for the benefit of mankind.

JHL MBE SSL Co. Chairman