Ships worldwide will be expected to comply with new energy requirements starting 2023, according to new amendments adopted to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) MARPOL convention in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).
The new amendments were made in June 2021 and include the addition of an Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), aimed at existing ships and a Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).
Both are part of the global measures intended to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the shipping industry.
As a first step towards aligning their operations with the new 2023 energy requirements, ship owners may wish to analyze the current status of their fleet.
This will provide a preliminary understanding of the size of the challenge posed to meet the new regulations.
Up until now, the current energy efficiency-related rules, the EEDI (energy efficiency design index for new ships) and SEEMP (ship energy efficiency management plan), were in effect, but have been deemed inefficient enough and hence, the new amendments were made.
What are the differences?
To those already familiar with the EEDI calculation, calculating the EEXI will not be much different. In fact, this is a process that most of the industry is already closely familiar with.
The main difficulty here will be that for older vessels, not all of the relevant information necessary as per the 2023 energy requirements may be available, such as the ship model test results.
With that in mind, many of these issues that affect the calculation process have been discussed in the recent IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 77 meeting. And it is very likely that the refining process of the technical calculations will continue even beyond this meeting.
On a brighter note, the CII calculation is much more straightforward for existing vessels.
The only variables it requires is the ship’s capacity, the distance it has travelled and its yearly fuel consumption (turned into carbon emissions with a fuel-specific carbon factor).
But for a new ship or in the event that improved alternatives are to be analyzed, the CII calculation will become significantly more complex.
Many experts are certain that the current ship energy and environmental regulatory framework has much room for improvement and this improvement will take place in the coming years.
But the bottom line remains that the shipping industry does need to focus on energy and environmental efficiency in both new and existing vessels.