lng gas

The impact of shipping on the climate cannot be solved by gas

Europe has little to gain from trying to decarbonise the unwieldy shipping sector with liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to a new study that looks into how the EU could cut emissions over the next three decades.

Research by consultants UMAS revealed on Monday (25 June) that pouring billions of dollars into LNG-refuelling capacity for maritime and inland shipping would only yield emission reductions ranging from 6% to 10%.

The study highlighted how half a billion dollars has already been used by the EU to beef up infrastructure and that no notable greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have been logged as a result.

Shipping accounted for about 3% of global emissions in 2012 and, on its current trajectory, will contribute between 6% and 14% by 2050 due to increased growth. Eighty percent of global trade is already transported by water.

EU commitments to the UN’s Paris Agreement mean the bloc is targeting 40% GHG reductions by 2030 and a net-zero emissions strategy for mid-century is likely to be released by the end of the year.

Brussels wants every part of the economy to do its fair share of decarbonising, meaning shipping will have to play its part and a recent agreement by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to target “at least 50%” cuts compared to 2008 by 2050 was a step towards that aim.

But the IMO commitment is non-binding and a final plan is not expected until 2023, causing uncertainty about where investment should be directed. If the IMO revises its ambition up to a net-zero strategy, LNG assets could end up stranded, according to the study.

NGO group Transport & Environment, which commissioned the report, said the EU should “instead back future-proof technologies that would deliver the much greater emissions reductions that will be needed, including port-side charging and liquid hydrogen infrastructure”.

UMAS’s modelling showed that under a ‘high gas’ scenario, where LNG prices are low and alternative fuels like hydrogen are unavailable, the EU would be hit with a $22bn bill up to 2050 and GHG reductions would only fall within a 6%-10% bracket.

While increased LNG uptake could help the sector hit the IMO’s 2020 cap on sulphur emissions, according to UMAS researcher Domagoj Baresic, the fuel’s use in “shipping’s transition to a low carbon future can only be transient”.

Other fuel options include biofuels, electrification and hydrogen. Battery-powered ocean-going freighters are currently not feasible due to cost and component weight, so smaller vessels are the limit, while biofuels face their own set of cost of standards-based challenges.

EU legislation dating from 2014 on alternative fuels lays out a number of options across various sectors but its insistence on LNG refuelling and bunkering facilities has now been called into question by T&E. The group urged the Commission to revise the “faulty” directive.

Although LNG is easy to transport, one of its main downsides is its high methane content, whose climate-affecting potential is significantly greater than that of carbon dioxide.

The study explained that the phenomenon of ‘methane slipping’, when unburnt LNG escapes through a ship’s exhaust into the atmosphere, could actually help wipe out any emission reduction gains over diesel depending on the scenario.

The issue of fugitive methane is a serious consideration for energy companies and pipeline owners, as it entails sometimes significant losses in both deliverable capacity and income.

Last week, a landmark study by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) claimed that methane leakage in the United States is 60% higher than previously estimated by the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EDF chief scientist Steve Hamburg warned that if more than 2.7% of gas production leaks from the US network then the GHG impact is more significant than burning coal for power. The study drew on a decade of work to estimate that leakages totalled 2.3%.

Oil majors like Exxon and BP already intend to address the problem by rolling out advanced technology like infrared detection equipment. The International Energy Agency estimates that between 40% and 50% of current methane emissions could be cut at no net cost.

To view the full report please go here

Source: Euractiv.com

heathrow expansion

It is a YES for Heathrow Expansion

In a landmark vote yesterday, Parliament unambiguously (415-119) backed expanding Heathrow – ending decades of political debate on one of the UK’s most pressing infrastructure issues.

MPs from across political parties joined forces to support the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement. The vote clears the way for Heathrow to submit an application for development consent for the project – unlocking billions of pounds in growth and creating tens of thousands of new skilled jobs across the UK in the early years of Brexit.

  • MPs across political parties united to unequivocally back expanding Heathrow – ending decades of political debate;
  • Approval unlocks billions in growth, secures tens of thousands of new skilled jobs and will ensure Heathrow expands sustainably;
  • Heathrow will now prepare an application for development consent which will see construction begin in 2021;
  • Within the next 12 months alone, Heathrow will sign £150m in contracts with British businesses, creating 900 new jobs and 200 new apprenticeships.

Britain won’t have to wait long for the benefits of an expanded Heathrow. Over the next 12 months alone, the airport will sign £150 million worth of contracts with British businesses, creating 900 new jobs and 200 new apprenticeships. Heathrow will also announce the locations of the off-site logistics hubs that will allow businesses across the country to get involved with what will be one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.

What an expanded Heathrow could look like between 2030-2035?

Parliament’s historic vote is the culmination of a rigorous, evidence-based selection process – including review by the independent Airports Commission and the Government – which determined not only that expanding Heathrow offers the greatest benefit to all of the UK, but that it can be done sustainably.

Over the past six years, Heathrow has worked with local communities to design an expansion plan that treats local people fairly. In addition to the thousands of new jobs the project will create for local residents, Heathrow has also made binding commitments to deliver a £2.6bn compensation package to local residents, implement a 6.5 hour ban on scheduled night flights and a triple lock guarantee to meet air quality obligations.

Heathrow will also release detailed plans over the coming months to deliver a skills strategy so local residents can benefit from up to 40,000 new skilled airport jobs that an expanded Heathrow requires – an opportunity that has the potential to end youth unemployment in local boroughs.

The vote secures a £14bn private investment for the UK – the largest private project in Europe. It will transform the country’s only hub airport, stimulating growth and opportunities for communities the length and breadth of the UK.

With up to 40 new long-haul trading links, double the cargo capacity, more competition and choice for passengers and new domestic flights – an expanded Heathrow will make Britain the best connected country in the world and sends the strongest signal to date that Britain is open for business.

With a commitment to deliver an expanded Heathrow affordably with airport charges staying close to today’s levels – it is a huge prize for British business and Heathrow passengers.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said,“Parliament has ended 50 years of debate by deciding that Heathrow expansion will go ahead. This vote will see us deliver more jobs, create a lasting legacy of skills for future generations and guarantee expansion is delivered responsibly.”

“We are grateful that MPs have made the right choice for Britain and today we start work to create the best connected hub airport in the world.”

Over the coming days, the Secretary of State for Transport is expected to designate the final Airports National Policy Statement approved by Parliament. This will set the policy framework for Heathrow’s northwest runway development consent application.

Heathrow is currently preparing to hold a second public consultation on its plans before submitting a development consent order application to the Planning Inspectorate, kick-starting an approval process expected to take 18 months. In addition to Heathrow’s consultation, the development consent process will provide further opportunities for residents and stakeholders to influence Heathrow’s proposal.

If Heathrow is granted development consent, construction would begin in 2021 ahead of the new runway opening in 2026.

Source: Heathrowexpansion.com

international shipping centre

Shanghai plan to become an International Shipping Centre by 2020

Shanghai are working towards becoming an International Shipping Centre by 2020. To achieve the target and raise the city’s core competitiveness, the local government has drafted a three-year plan.

One goal of the three-year plan is to further consolidate Shanghai’s status as an international shipping hub. In the Chinese mainland, the Port of Shanghai boasts the largest number of container shipping routes, the highest frequency of route operations and the widest network coverage. In 2017, cargo throughput rose 6.9 percent from 2016 to 751 million tons at the Port of Shanghai, while container throughput increased 8.3 percent year-on-year to 40.23 million TEUs, ranking first in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

At the same time, leveraging on the golden waterway along the Yangtze River, the Port of Shanghai is developing its waterway-waterway transport business and proceeding with its renovation project on high-grade inland waterways at a steady pace. Container lines connecting all ports along the Yangtze River are operated on a regular basis and breakthroughs have been made in the two-way navigation for large vessels along the deep-water passage at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

In 2017, waterway-waterway transport accounted for 46.7 percent of total container transfer. Among all, 10.58 million TEUs were handled along the Yangtze River, accounting for 56.4 percent of the total waterway-waterway transport and 26.3 percent of total throughput at the Port of Shanghai.

Another goal of the plan is to generally establish Shanghai’s status as an Asian gateway aviation hub. Shanghai has successfully built a “one city, two airports” system, the first of its kind in the country, whose scale and layout are compatible with their international counterparts.

The city’s two international airports, namely Pudong and Hongqiao, have a total of four terminals, six runways, 1.47 million square meters’ cargo area and an airport bonded zone, with a total designed capacity for 100 million passengers and 5.2 million tons of cargoes. Over 100 airlines have launched services to the city’s airports, which are now connected to 297 cities worldwide.

Transit centers of the three largest logistics companies are all under operation in the international cargo mail and courier service zones at the Pudong airport. In 2017, passenger throughput at Shanghai airports reached 112 million, ranking fourth around the globe. Cargo mail throughput at Pudong airport maintained its No.3 global ranking for the 10th consecutive year. Throughput of international passengers and cargo mail at Pudong airport accounted for one-third and half of the country’s total, respectively, making it the No.1 gateway in the Chinese mainland.

The third aim is to continuously improve Shanghai’s function of modern shipping services. A cluster of shipping service areas such as Waigaoqiao, Yangshan-Lingang, North Bund, Wusongkou, Hongqiao, and Pudong Airport, among which the shipping industry in Hongkou district ranks first in terms of its contribution to the district’s overall financial income, accounting for 19 percent of Hongkou’s public financial income.

A group of international and national shipping functional organizations have gathered in Shanghai. The world’s top 20 liner companies, the top four cruise companies, nine global shipping classification societies, and major State-owned and privately owned shipping companies have all set up headquarters or branches in Shanghai.

Shanghai Shipping Exchange has become the national container liner freight registration center and the China Ship Information Center. The container freight index has become a benchmark for the global container shipping market. The capability of maritime legal services has been continuously improved. The number of maritime arbitration cases in Shanghai accounts for 90 percent of the country’s total number of cases. Shanghai Maritime Court is striving to build an international maritime judicial center.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News / Global Times

Heathrow expansion

Heathrow expansion plans approved

The UK government has backed plans for the development of a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

The UK Cabinet’s economic sub-committee approved plans for a third runway at the London airport before the proposals were backed by the full cabinet.

The UK secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling said: “A successful, thriving aviation sector is critical to our ability as a nation to succeed, which is why we are developing a strategy to help it grow in a sustainable way.”

MPs of all parties will be asked to vote on the plans in the coming weeks.

The news was cautiously welcomed by freight forwarders.

Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “Hopefully, this news is the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity.

“If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.

“However, we understand that MPs will now be asked to vote on the issue in the coming weeks and, given the track record of parliament on this issue over the last 20 years, uncertainties remain.

“Whilst the UK Transport Secretary has previously hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted planning processes that are also likely, lead me to wonder whether any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.

“I hope I am proved wrong, but I won’t be booking a ticket for the opening ceremony just yet.”

Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “Together with our supporters across the country, we urge all MPs to vote for expansion.

“Their votes will connect all of Britain to global trade, increase competition and choice for passengers and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for future generations. The world is waiting for Britain. It’s time to vote for Heathrow expansion.”

However, it is not entirely certain that MPs could be relied on to vote in favour of the plan.

Boris Johnson, foreign secretary and member of parliament for Uxbridge, one of the regions that could be affected by an expanded Heathrow, said on one occasion that he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to prevent the new runway going ahead.

Many other prominent members of the Conservative Party are also against the plan, arguing that capacity at regional airports should be expanded instead of Heathrow.

Some Labour MPs are also opposed – despite the fact that a Labour Government had voted through an earlier version of the third runway scheme in 2009 – on environmental grounds, saying that it would breach air pollution and noise limits.

One possible solution for Prime Minister Theresa May is to allow Conservative MPs who oppose the plan to abstain, in the hope that there would be sufficient votes from other parties’ MPs to carry the plan through.

Bringing the long-running third runway saga to an end could be seen as a political coup for the minority Conservative government that has been grappling with the extremely thorny ‘Brexit’ issue over the last two years. It would also send a message that despite the UK’s exit from the European Union, the country is still open for business with the wider world.

There are also likely to be objections from local residents and environmental campaigners, who will argue that the plans will breach air pollution limits.

Grayling said it was a “historic moment”.

Announcing £2.6 billion in compensation for residents and noise abatement measures he said it would only proceed if air quality obligations were met.

“The time for action is now,” he told MPs, insisting the decision was being taken in the national interest and would benefit the whole of the UK – with 15% of new landing slots “facilitating” regional connectivity.

The scheme, he insisted, would be funded entirely privately and while the expansion was a “number of years away”, he believed it could be concluded by 2026.

The debate on expanding Heathrow has been going on for nearly 20 years.

The last Labour government backed the idea, and won a vote on it in 2009, but that plan was scrapped – and the idea of expansion put on hold for five years – by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition formed after the 2010 election.

But the idea of expansion was resurrected and has been subsequently backed by the Conservatives. Ministers approved a draft national airports policy statement in October setting out the conditions for a new runway, Parliament has yet to give its approval for detailed planning to begin.

Heathrow is the largest UK port by value and has ambition is to become one of Europe’s best airports for cargo.

The UK economy benefits greatly from cargo, and Heathrow is the UK’s largest port by value for non-EU exports, transporting more than Felixstowe, Southampton and Liverpool.

They are also uniquely placed as a transatlantic and European gateway with 95% of the global economy potentially within reach of a direct flight from Heathrow. Nowhere is better placed to connect UK exporters to the world and help the UK achieve its target of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

Their strategy will lift freight volumes capacity to 3 million tonnes a year by 2040 through improved service and increased capacity from expansion. For cargo customers our aim is to become a trusted partner – timely, reliable and easy to do business with.

 

Source: Air Cargo News / BBC / Sky