European Commission to reduce Ocean Pollution

sopep _ ocean pollution


A new proposal that will help Europe to comply with the international Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) has been released from The European Commission. It’s mainly focused on a revised law for the delivery of wastes from ships calling to ports and harbours, aiming to change how wastes are being delivered at ports and how it’s being paid. This includes an attempt to prevent discharges of waste at sea by giving fee payment structures, obligations to deliver waste at port and mandatory inspections to ensure compliance.

According to the European Commission, ships contribute with about 32% of marine litter in EU waters.

An important treat of this proposal is the 100% indirect fee system for waste delivery. Meaning that all ships will pay for the total cost of waste delivery in ports, regardless of whether they deliver any waste. An attempt to discourage waste dumping at sea.

Also, fishing vessels and recreational crafts might be affected as well with this proposal in an attempt to decrease waste coming from these.

However, this proposal still has to be negotiated by the Council and European Parliament, which is expected to last throughout 2018 and possibly into 2019 before becoming law.





Iranian Ship on Fire – Oil Spill, China

oil spill

Oil Spill – There is a 46 sq mile oil slick that is thought to be made up of heavy fuel that was used to power the Iranian oil Tanker.

The panamanian-flagged oil tanker, MV Sanchi,  was coming from Iran and heading to South Korea carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude oil, which is able to create a slick that could be totally invisible from the surface.

Apparently, the cause of this devastating accident was a collision, between the Tanker and CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-flagged Cargo Ship 160 miles from Shanghai on January 6th.

According to Iranian officials, all the crew, 30 Iranians and 2 Bangladeshis, were killed.

Usually, oil spills involve black crude. This time was a very different one, condensate, which is low in density, toxic, used for products like jet fuel, and considerably more explosive than regular crude.




ABB Fights Ocean Pollution

The Technology Services Company, ABB, has expressed its support for the Oceans Pollution Control Group by providing on-board systems and expertise to support research trips carried out by a charity whose primary mission and purpose is to highlight the damage caused by the millions of tons of plastics that end up polluting the waters of the world’s oceans every year.

The environmental advocacy group that is benefiting is called By the Ocean We Unite (BTOWU), which has installed a state-of-the-art Marine Advisory System which includes MeteoGroup SPOS Onboard meteorological routing software in the yacht Fantastiko.

This ingenious system will help the crew of the BTOWU to plan and monitor weather conditions on a research trip in the waters of Rotterdam, the South of England, the Channel Islands, France and Belgium. The trip, of around 17 days, is comprised by the team of professionals onboard Fantastiko  which will work in support of scientists who investigate the sources and impacts of plastic pollution on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

In this sense Thomas van Thiel of By the Ocean We Unite stated that it is currently estimated that 23,000,000 kilos of plastics are dumped into the world’s oceans every minute. Thomas claims that these materials are being fragmented into smaller and smaller particles, damaging the marine environment, marine life and thus entering the food chain. Plastics also act as sponges for toxic products already in the seas, concentrating areas of pollution. Sources and effects should be identified because prevention is not only the best option, but more economical than the cleaning of the oceans.

For this reason ABB is a partner and sponsor of the group, and also helps to spread the research at sea through its online Marine Fleet portal, which is linked in turn with the BTOWU website. In this way people interested in the subject can follow the status of navigation expeditions, in addition, the portal also houses data that have been stored manually covering the types of plastic particles that are found.

ABB’s marine software has a complete portfolio of performance management and decision-making products in marine operations to improve safety, workability, reduce fuel consumption and energy efficiency on board the ship.

ABB Benelux Vice President Marina and Ports, Bart Cunnen, said the company’s technology group is committed to technologies that are compatible with sustainability but are also delighted that marine software is being used directly in the battle to protect the environment Marine environment.

Cunnen said that through the support offered to BTOWU, it is part of a commitment to offer service that has a real impact on the improvement of marine sustainability, including energy efficiency training.


Greenhouse Gases Reduction


Greenhouse – Recent research has shown that it is possible to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) in the shipping industry. They reviewed about 150 academic studies, where they determined that up to 75% of these CO2 emissions could be reduced in a normal scenario by 2050, using just existing technologies.

The count of CO2 emissions emitted by maritime transport is about 3% of the total annual anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; these emissions are estimated to increase by 150-250% in 2050. Therefore, all economic sectors are required to have GHG emissions equal to zero to achieve a climate target of 1.5-2ºC.

It is for this reason that the maritime sector faces the challenge of significantly reduce its GHG emissions as a contribution to the international ambition to limit the effects of climate change. The research examined studies of several widely divisible technologies in hull, power and propulsion designs, alternative fuels, alternative energy sources and operational categories.

In the study by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Marintek, they consider that reduction rates were set at 35%, 39% and 73% for the years 2020, 2030 and 2050 respectively. In addition the research also noted that the highest potential range reduction, 58-77% was found in 2050 according to estimates, so the time required to take action is anticipated.

The maritime sector is compromised and faces the challenge of drastically reducing its GHG emissions in the coming decades to limit the rate of global warming. This reduction may be complicated by the increasing demand for shipping services. However, the sector has many technological and operational measures to meet the initial objective.

The study concluded that a significant reduction of emissions, (75%), is possible by the rapid adoption and combination of a large number of measures of viable technologies, including for example the optimized size of the vessel and the shape of the hull, water reduced ballast, hull coating, hybrid power and propulsion, propulsion efficiency devices, speed optimization and time routing.

The study was originally published by Transportation Research, whose authors say that success in reducing GHGs will depend on growth rates in shipping and on measures.

Maritime industry still have to meet the challenge of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, published research is available to all who wish to read it and take into account the recommendations there to achieve a climate change.