IMO keen to expand its outreach, collaborate with India



As most of the interventional efforts concerning environmental issues like ballast water management and mitigation of green house gas emissions are largely directed towards South East Asia and APAC countries, International Maritime Organization (IMO) is keen to expand its outreach and collaborate with India in the South Asian region on building human and institutional capacity building, said Dr. D. Jose Matheickal, Chief Technical Adviser (GloBallast partnerships), and Senior Technical Officer (Major Projects, IMO, London, at the World Maritime Day 2013 celebrations organised by National Maritime Day Celebrations Committee in Mumbai.

Human and institutional capacity building are intended to raise awareness among seafarers of developing countries to environmental friendly transportation, increasing ship safety and security and to the responsibility of environmental sustainability among all stakeholders in the sea-shore value chain.

Technology transfer has been a major stumbling block among 180 IMO members requiring a lot of assistance to facilitate the sharing of technology. Technology cooperation is needed in transition to various regulatory regimes like Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships that are aimed at mitigation of climate change.

Capacity building of human resource is undertaken in the areas of Ballast Water Management (BWM) to impart training to biologists and seafarers to familiarize them with tools like ballast status assessment.

IMO is mobilizing funds for the cooperation and the capacity building tasks from publications, donor contributions from bilateral strategic partnerships, banks and spill partnerships with oil majors around the world.

European banks are investing in maritime regulation for right policy and legal framework, especially in regulatory initiative like BWM to safeguard bio-security, Mr. Matheickal added.

Integrated maritime hubs are the right model for speedy environmental sustainability clearance and upkeep: The concept of integrated maritime hubs consolidating ports, shipyards, special economic zones and ship repairing facilities under one roof would enable easier environmental sustainability clearance for the investors. Most of the times environmental sustainability clearance is squarely blamed on the delays impeding the asset creation in the maritime infrastructure sector, observed Mr. Saibal K De, Chief Executive (Ports), IL & FS Maritime Infrastructure Company Ltd.

Furthermore, there is need for innovation of partnership in developing non-productive assets like dredging. Bank credit to infrastructure has gone up by 4 times consequently leading to loan restructuring and overrun of about 11 times and this stress in the financial segment exposure to infrastructure does not augur well, he stated.

Windmill and solar powered ships for environmentally sustainable shipping: Experiments are ongoing on driving capesizes on solar power harnessed from the solar panels fitted on board. Further efforts are equally made to propel the ships from wind energy of the windmill aboard determined to shift from green house gas emitting fossil fuels, but the embracing of green technology also involves considerable amount of cost component, felt Mr. I. N. Bose, Vice-President, Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd, Mumbai.

Already ships are resorting to slow steaming by reducing their speed by around 10 knots to save both fuel and environment. New material initiatives have paid rich dividends in unveiling LNG-based ships that could evolve into ships fuelled by hydrogen. Also, ships globally have improved their fuel and thermal efficiencies from 40% in 1970s to 55% now by processes like waste recovery system.

On environmental sustainability regulations, the revised MARPOL Annex 5 declares that from Jan. 1 of this year it strictly prohibits dumping of garbage into sea. But not all ports have the transfer facility to receive the garbage and ports that have the solid waste transfer facility charge exorbitant rate for the service. As a result ships tend to overflow with garbage posing health hazard.

In the implementation of BWM Convention shipping industry is likely to incur a cost of $100 billion till 2020 in the retrofitting of ships – a challenge in the current prevailing economic scenario. Complying with MARPOL Annex 6 on switching over from carbon and sulphur based fuel to low sulfur fuel after 2020 will cost ship operators about $50 billion expenditure every year. Due to fuel-induced operations cost hike, there is a possibility of cargo shift from sea to shore for short haul dispatches, Mr. Bose remarked.

Mr. Dachang Du, Special Advisor on Environmental Protection Standards and Senior Deputy Director, Marine Environment Division, IMO, London, also spoke on the occasion. Prof. A. K. Dikshit, Head of Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, gave a presentation on ‘Environmental issues and concerns in the shipping industry. Mr. S. Hajara, Chairman, NMDC, in his vote of thanks address categorically stated that shipping still remains the least polluting mode of transportation.






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