Operational Issues are Greatest Concern for ECAs

Ship emissions

Published Jan 19, 2015 9:37 AM by The Maritime Executive

Fathom, the leading provider of market intelligence products and services for the maritime industry, have announced the launch of a brand new industry resource: Operating In Emission Control Areas: The Guide & On-Board Manual. 

According to Fathom, the release of these comprehensive, practical guidance tools follows the response from ship owners and operators to a recent survey that operational issues are expected to be of greater concern than additional fuel costs following the limits for sulfur content in marine fuel dropping from 1% to 0.1% in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) as of January 1, 2015.

The survey reinforced the need for such resources, with nearly 70% of ship owner and operator respondents stating that mechanical problems resulting from the change in fuel properties were by far the biggest concern and potential challenge. The impact of the increase in fuel costs came as close second place response.  The challenge of ensuring that the crew make the fuel switch successfully in order to comply on time, thus another operational issue followed closely behind.

Alison Jarabo, Director,  Fathom, observed that, “it is encouraging that a number of ship owners and operators recognize that there are significant challenges to operating in ECAs as it is the first step to ensuring that any serious mechanical or lack of compliance issues are encountered during a ship’s operation.  However, whilst many ship owners and operators and their crews are somewhat aware that there may be issues, they do not realize the full range of these and the impact they can have on vessels.”

Jarabo continued, “Fathom’s mission is to support owners and operators with operational and compliance challenges and this is why we have put together this comprehensive resource.”

The provision of ship owner and operator-specific education and resources that can aid the understanding of the significant operational challenges of operating compliantly in ECAs is fully supported by Ireland-based product and chemical tanker owner and operator, Ardmore Shipping. 

Mark Cameron, COO, Ardmore Shipping commented, “Sulfur content of 0.10% represents more significant challenges to ship owners and operators than solely compliance. If they do not fully understand the operational considerations and prepare their vessels accordingly, serious mechanical issues can result that can in turn result in potentially serious loss of power incidences.” 

As a responsibility to the safety of their vessels, crew and operations, all owners and operators should ensure that they truly understand the implications of using fuel of 0.1% sulfur content and ensure that their crews are fully supported in ensuring that operations within ECAs are both safe and compliant.”

Ardmore Shipping have gone further than just ensuring their vessels and crews are fully prepared; they are one of the growing number of operators who are part of the Trident Alliance, a coalition of shipping owners and operators committed to robust enforcement of maritime sulfur regulations.

Cameron explained, “As a responsible operator, we (Ardmore Shipping) have long since been committed to the safety of our vessels, the welfare of our crew and our responsibility to regulatory compliance. As a true demonstration of this Ardmore has made the public declaration of joining the Trident Alliance to ensure that we not only do this within our own operations but also to play our part in encouraging the wider shipping industry to support the robust enforcement of these rules, both for the public health and environmental benefits, and to ensure a level playing field for all shipping companies.”

Operating In Emission Control Areas: The Guide & On-Board Manual can be purchased via www.fathomshipping.com

Copies of the ‘Operating In Emission Control Areas 2015’ survey can be requested from Fathom via [email protected].