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.




Deep Water Collaboration

pcsopep - deepwater

Recently, on 2017, the international company Royal Dutch Shell and Petrobras signed an agreement of understanding to establish a long-term mutual collaboration in the development of pre-salt fields in Brazil. By signing this memorandum Shell will benefit from technical solutions, contract management experience and cost-effective initiatives that Petrobras applies to pre and post-salt projects in Brazil.

On the other hand, Shell will share its experience in deep waters around the world, with special emphasis on cost efficiency efforts and the use of technology. The Memorandum of Understanding also includes the exchange of best practices on security and governance management, technical and operational solutions, contract management, logistics, well construction and air transport security.

The meeting was attended by important people from both companies, the document was signed by Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden and Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente. This meeting took place during a visit by Petrobras executives to the headquarters of Shell.

The signature of the agreement has a validity of five and can be renewed at the end of that time. Shell is Petrobras’ strategic partner in the pre-salt, with minority interests in the Libra and Lula fields, as well as other important areas such as Sapinhoá, Lapa and Lara, all in the Santos Basin.

It is recalled that in May, Shell, through its subsidiary BG E & P Brazil and partners of the consortium in Lula South, started production of deep water in the P-66 FPSO. Where positioning was achieved at a water depth of 2,150 meters, the P-66 has a capacity to process up to 150,000 barrels of oil and six million cubic meters of natural gas per day.

The FPSO is the first of a series of standardized vessels operated by Petrobras to begin production within the BM-S- 11 block consortium and the seventh to produce within the consortium in general. On the other hand, the P-66 is the tenth deep water FPSO in operation through Shell’s working interest in the pre-salt areas of the Santos Basin. Shell also operates two additional FPSOs offshore in Brazil.

Shell is an internationally recognized company and operates throughout the world with various markets in the maritime industry. In the case of Shell’s deep water business also extends to the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and Malaysia and worldwide, it produces an estimated 725,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe /d) and production is expected to reach approximately 900, boe / early 2020s of areas already discovered and established.



Petrobras continues with its investment commitment


Regardless being pointed as the world’s most indebted oil company, Petrobras has announced they will stick to its investment commitment for the next 5 years period (2018-2022). The estimated amount of investment is around the $74.5 billions of dollars, a little bit more than the last investment in the previous period (2017-2021) for $74.1 billions.

The forecast is to spend $60.3 billions in exploration and production and the 57% of that investment will be on the pre-salt layer, including $18.9 billions on Campos Basin.

In order to reduce its debt, Petrobras is working on divesting assets, at the same time they are planning to boost the production. They are expecting to achieve a daily production of 3.55 millions of barrels of oil.


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.


LNG – More ports added


LNG – This time the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, the port of Marseille Fos and the port of Vancouver, have joined the port of Singapore and seven other organizations to participate in an international group of LNG bunker concentration. The main objective of this group is to strengthen the network of LNG ports and reinforce the efforts for the use of LNG as marine fuel.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) – meaning natural gas that has been processed to be transported in a liquid form. It is the best alternative to monetize remote and isolated reserves, where it is not cost effective to bring the gas to the market.

With the merging of new ports, a network of a total of eleven ports and maritime administrations is expanded in Asia, Europe and North America. This organization was formed for the first time in 2014 by the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority, the Port Authority of Antwerp, the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Zeebrugge.

In 2016 the Asian representation of LNG was strengthened by the merge of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism of Japan and the Port Authority of Ulsan of the Republic of Korea.


Also, other industries have also joined this initiative, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation (YKIP), is now part of SEA / LNG, the industry’s multi-sector coalition with the goal of accelerating the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel.

SEA / LNG and member organizations continue to support the need to collaborate, demonstrate, and communicate key factors such as security, regulation, and economy to provide the confidence and demand needed for an effective and efficient global value of marine LNG by 2020.

In this regard, TOTE Inc. President and Executive Vice President, Peter Keller, said: “Ports around the world are taking the LNG seriously and as customers begin to adopt LNG as a viable and scalable solution, then ports are recognizing that it is an essential part of a future supply of strong fuel”.

One of the strongest countries in the industry is Japan, which is the world’s largest importer of LNG, with 35 regasification terminals. In 2016 it had about 34 percent of world imports, meaning about 86 million tons of LNG.

On the other hand, the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki are perfectly located geographically to serve on the Asian side of the Trans-Pacific route. YKIP is the second Japanese organization to join the SEA / LNG coalition in a matter of weeks after the newly announced incorporation of Marubeni Corporation. This adds up to 26 members and highlights the growing of the LNG industry as a cost-effective, secure and environmentally friendly long-term solution.

SEA / LNG, brings together key stakeholders from various sectors of the shipping industry, including the supply chain, shipping companies, rating societies, ports, major LNG suppliers, downstream companies, Infrastructure providers and OEMs to address trade barriers and transform the use of LNG as marine fuel.


Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance

unmanned cargo ship

Unmanned Cargo Ship – The Houston, Texas-based rating company called the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) recently joined the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance. This group was recently launched in ShanghaiChina, who plan to have an unmanned vessel in the water by October 2021.

The design of this novel project will integrate features of independent decision making, autonomous navigation, environmental perception and remote control. “In the coming years we will see significant changes in the design and construction of ships, with a strong impetus to develop autonomous ships, especially in China,” said Eric Kleess, president of China’s ABS division. As a key member of the alliance, ABS is closely aligned with the industry for more sustainable maritime operations. ”

“Increased civilization, advanced technologies and new levels of connectivity are changing the way the maritime industry operates,” Kleess said. Technological advances are increasingly at the forefront of the needs of the industry and it is appropriate to use it in favor of the existing interests.

On the other hand, the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance is chaired by China HNA Technology Group Co., Ltd. It is made up of nine members including ABSCCSChina Boats Research and Development InstituteShanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research InstituteLtdHudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co., LtdMarine Design Research Institute of China (MARIC), Rolls-Royce, and Wärtsilä.

NHA Technology Group vice president Li Weijian said that this newly formed alliance is promoting new design innovations and naval operations, working to promote the safe adoption of these assets in the market, that being said, this alliance will apply the latest technologies for the development of a new concept of autonomous vessel.

The creation of autonomous and unmanned ships represents a great innovation in the maritime industry, which is why it is one of the many issues addressed at the Conference and Fair Smarter Ships 2017 held this past 11 and 12 September 2017 at the Hyatt Olive 8 in SeattleWA.

The conference was opened by Senior Vice President of ABS and Head Office of Technology, Howard Fireman. The conference was to focus on emerging markets, new business opportunities and the latest technologies. It was pointing at changing the way of doing business and the most outstanding topics were: Large data and remote monitoring, autonomous and unmanned ships, Robots, drones and AUVs, marine applications, hybrid propulsion technology.


Ocean Institute

ocean institute


Ocean Institute – The WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute is the new announcement by the World Maritime University (WMU) and the Nippon Foundation, during the 71st Session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), held at the headquarters of the IMO.

The creation of the Ocean Institute is a response to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and especially goal 14, the Oceanographic Objective, where governments are committed to the proper use of marine resources for sustainable development.

In addition, the main goal of this institute is the interaction between the ocean, science, politics, law and industry to discuss the use and management of ocean resources and spaces for sustainable development.

The Ocean Institute will work hand in hand with IMO and other United Nations organizations including UNESCO. In this regard, the Secretary General of IMO assured that the establishment of this Institute for Ocean Research will provide the IMO with the opportunity to strengthen the Sustainable Development Goals.

On the other hand, the president of the WMU, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henrry, said that the creation of this Institute is important for the impulse of the adoption of urgent measures, also declared that it is a call to action for “Multi-stakeholder partnerships, more ocean-related education, and greater resources for scientific research.”

The creation of this institute together with the support of the Nippon Foundation, the WMU and IMO represents a breakthrough in the promotion of ocean research, education and the promotion of global policies. It is an initiative that will make a significant contribution to the future of the oceans.

In this regard, the Executive Director of the Nippon Foundation, Mitsuyuki Unno, stated that “the world community is beginning to accept the undeniable fact that the ocean is in crisis and that a holistic approach to the governance of the oceans, that is to say an orientation that in turn is intergovernmental and trans-disciplinary “.

It also ensures that through this alliance opens a wider range of fields related to the ocean, making this institution the most appropriate partnership to initiate new efforts, to build human capacity to meet the growing challenges of sustainability in the oceans of the world.

In short, the Ocean Institute is an advance in the scientific and academic research of the oceans, as well as contributing to the promotion of global policies and a holistic approach that allows the proper orientation of the use of ocean resources to be developed in a sustainable way. It is a major initiative involving the Nippon Foundation, IMO and WMU.



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.


SOPEP – Oil Spill Prevention Plan



Oil is one of the foundations of the current world economy, most countries use this natural product from the subsoil to develop different advantages in variety of derivatives, such as gasoline, through its refinement. Part of the business is to export and import oil in its various presentations and as part of its transfer is necessary the use of shipping.

Oil is sectored on the planet, so it is not everywhere, which is why it is necessary to do excavations in different places and this implies that you have to resort to various types of transport and that in the middle of the transfers is the possibility of accidents occurring by errors and mishaps causing pollution and spills.

So what happens when there is oil spill or black tide? This hydrocarbon spill occurs mainly due to an accident due to improper practice, this causes environmental pollution especially in the sea. These spills attack the ecosystem and cause serious damages to the fauna and the fishing where the incident occurred, in addition it can generate effects in the coasts that endure in the time, also some penalties are involved.

After the hydrocarbon spill on the sea surface, it is necessary to clean as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the ecosystem and spill spreading. Then some of the lost oil is collected. The cost of cleaning up the oil spill depends on the quantity and quality of the oil spilled into the sea.

Costs are calculated based on factors of legal claims, money paid in penalties, oil loss, repairs and cleaning. In addition the most serious effects such as damage on marine loss and human health are incalculable.

Fortunately there is a prevention plan to avoid marine pollution and species loss. This plan is carried on board by most cruise ships and cargo ships, this is known as SOPEP or emergency plan for oil pollution of the ship.

This emergency plan includes a set of standards and guidelines established by the International Maritime Organization under the MEPC (Marine Environment Protection Committee). The crude tonnage requirement for oil tankers, according to SOPEP, is reduced to 150 GT since oil doubles the risk of oil pollution.

The plan contains the following guidelines:

  • Duties of each crew member at the time of the spill, including meeting and emergency actions.
  • SOPEP contains general information about the ship and its owner.
  • Steps and procedures for the discharge of oil into the sea using SOPEP
  • In the plan describes the procedure and notification requirement in case of oil spills.
  • The authorities must notify port state control, oil cleaning equipment, etc.
  • SOPEP includes the drawing of several fuel lines along with other oil lines on board the ship with positioning of the ventilation grilles, storing the trays, etc.
  • Also in the SOPEP is the general layout of the ship, which includes the location of all oil tanks with capacity, content, etc.
  • The location of the SOPEP closet and the contents inside the closet with an inventory list.