No tightening yet of mandatory energy efficiency standards
The International Maritime Organization has decided not to change phase 2 requirements of regulations requiring new ships to be built to increasingly tight energy efficiency standards, but will consider introducing phase 3 sooner and add a phase 4 with more stringent requirements.
The decision followed a review of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) required under regulation 21.6 of MARPOL Annex VI at the 70th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70).
There had been calls for tightening the phase 2 requirements, starting in 2020, following data and studies suggesting several ship types, in particular container ships, are already meeting or even doing better than these standards.
Although there was significant support for amending phase 2, at least for some ship types, shipping organisations fought against it, saying the industry was being punished for over-performing and should not be hit with “a moving target”. There are also on-going concerns about the EEDI targets affecting the ability of new ships to maintain sufficient power to manoeuvre safely during adverse sea conditions.
More time will be needed to assess EEDI for ro-ro cargo and ro-ro passenger ships and more concrete proposals have been invited.
MEPC 70 agreed on the need for a thorough review of EEDI phase 3 requirements, and potentially implementing it earlier. At present, Phase 3 is due to start in 2025 and requires new ships to be 30% more energy efficient compared to the baseline. The work to review the phased implementation of EEDI requirements will continue at the next session.
Phase 1 of the EEDI took effect in 2013, with data received by the IMO Secretariat showing that so far more than 1,900 ships have been certified as complying with the new energy efficiency design standards.