Anne-Marie Warris has over 25 years’ experience in sustainable matters and is a leading expert in climate change and environmental issues. She was voted as ‘Outstanding contributor to ship efficiency’ by the industry for the Ship Efficiency Award 2014 and on to the top ten on the inaugural Environmentalist power list by readers of The Environmentalist in July 2014. The power list reveals those who are believed to be the most influential in helping organisations to better their environmental impact or who have had an influence on raising environment issues up the business and policy agendas. Anne-Marie was awarded Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association UK (WISTA UK) Personality of Year for 2013. She gave the Royal Academy of Engineering invited lecture on ‘A low carbon world – is it realistic?’ in April 2010.
She is a nominated expert to the European Sustainable Shipping Forum in relation to MRV issues for the upcoming EU MRV Regulation. She was one of the drivers behind the ‘Sustainable Shipping Initiative’. Anne-Marie attends IMO MEPC as part of the ISO delegation. She holds a number of key external voluntary roles, all of them elected appointments - chair of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) sub-committee responsible for environmental management systems. In early 2014 she became chair of the project committee funded by Innovate UK to look at the proof of concept for a technology package related to marine wave energy ‘CCell’ www.ccell.co.uk
She blogs at http://www.bunkerworld.com/forum/blogs/ and previously at http://blog.lr.org/author/anne-marie-warris/
She is a chartered Marine Engineer and Fellow of IMarEST and a chartered Engineer, chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of The Energy Institute.
I’ll start my first blog of 2012 with a timely message to vessel-owners. How often do you check your fuel consumption? And do you keep a record of your daily, weekly or monthly usage?
These may seem obvious questions, but keeping your fuel bills down is a vital investment for both now and the future. How would you cope, for instance, if fuel costs suddenly rose and put up both voyage and charter rates?
But then it is just as much about energy efficiency as it is about fuel costs – the key topic for 2012:
* The working group on guidelines for MARPOL Annex VI energy efficiency design index (EEDI) meets next week;
* In late February the IMO MEPC will consider a variety of matters, among them: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – including a submission from the Bahamas proposing a formal monitoring and reporting process for GHG;
* We are also expecting an EC proposal early this year.
So my question above is not only timely but crucial. The critical element is: will this impact charter rates?
Of course, no one knows what the future holds. Greener fuels are certainly an enticing and cost-effective prospect. Many delegates at the Maritime Cyprus Conference in October 2011 predicted an LNG-led future for the global fleet in the mid to long term (depending on your date lines) future.
The discussion on GHG cannot proceed without asking the question: what fuel will shipowners and operators chose to use in sulphur control areas – Emission Control Areas (ECAs)? Some owners and operators may use scrubbers while others may prefer low sulphur fuel oils. There is a lot of talk about scrubbers but, interestingly enough, recent research shows that only 10% of owners are willing to fit them to their fleets. Looking at it from a GHG perspective the choice of low sulphur fuel, while more expensive, would reduce the GHG emissions associated with the vessels’ journey.
So a focus on energy efficiency not just a future driven by EEDI raises the question: will we need new approaches to ship design? Should we act now to change hull construction, paints and materials and IT control systems or wait until we know the shape of fuels to come?
What is your view and what are your predictions for 2012 and the fuel debate?