emissions

The UK should include aviation and shipping in net zero emission goal

The aviation and shipping sectors should formally be included in Britain’s target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the government’s climate advisers said on Tuesday.

Britain earlier this year became the first G7 country to set a net zero emission target although the shipping and aviation sectors were not explicitly included in the goal.

Combined the two sectors account for around 5% of global greenhouse emissions but if left unchecked this is expected to grow significantly, particularly as passenger flying numbers increase.

“Now is the time to bring the UK’s international aviation and shipping emissions formally within the UK’s net-zero target. These are real emissions, requiring a credible plan to manage them to net-zero by 2050,” Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said in an email.

The CCC said, in a letter to Britain’s transport minister, Grant Shapps on Tuesday, emissions from aviation could be reduced by around a fifth by 2050 by using sustainable biofuels, improving fuel efficiency and limiting demand growth to at most 25% above current levels.

It said zero-carbon aviation is unlikely to be feasible by 2050 and that greenhouse gas removal methods would be needed to offset remaining emissions.

The CCC said the government said could establish a market for scalable greenhouse gas removal solutions, such as bioenergy carbon capture and storage, which sees emissions from lower carbon biofuels captured and stored to prevent them going into the atmosphere.

In the shipping sector zero carbon or near zero carbon could be feasible by 2050 the CCC said, if there is a widespread adoption of cleaner and as yet mostly so far untried fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia.

The CCC advice came as several ports, banks, oil and shipping companies on Monday launched an initiative which aims to have ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions on the high seas by 2030.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has committed to a target of halving net emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 levels and is working on a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for (CORSIA) which requires most airlines to limit emissions or offset them by buying credits from environmental projects.

The CCC, which is independent of the government, is chaired by former British environment secretary John Gummer and includes business and academic experts.

Source: Reuters.com

hapag lloyd

Global container fleet breaches 23m teu

A wave of ULCV deliveries this year has pushed the total containership fleet capacity over the 23m teu mark, with the last million slots added in a breath–taking 14 months, according to an Alphaliner report. 

However, the newbuilds, mostly consisting of ULCVs, have arrived at a time of softening demand growth across the major tradelanes of the world, which is already forcing carriers to blank a significant amount of headhaul voyages. 

In fact on Monday the 2M partners, Maersk and MSC advised that the “temporary suspension” of their AE2 / Swan Asia – North Europe loop would commence one week earlier than planned, with the final schedule sailing from Qingdao on 25 September also being cancelled. 

While the new ULCVs will in most cases immediately be deployed on the Asia – Europe tradelane the cascading impact of the incumbent tonnage being reassigned to secondary routes will have negative consequences on freight rates in those markets. 

Ocean carriers received some 91,000 teu of newbuild tonnage in the last week alone, including two further MSC Gulsun-series 23,000 teu + vessels; the 21,230 teu Cosco Shipping Planet and the 20,240 teu Ever Globe.

According to the Alphaliner data, 826,000 teu of cellular capacity on some 108 vessels has been received by liner operators so far this year. 

However, in contrast the scrapping of older ships has stalled, with only 165,000 teu reported to have been sold for demolition to date, due to a strong charter market driven by the demand for substitute vessels to cover scrubber installations on the existing fleet. 

 “A strong charter market gives owners little incentive to recycle ships, and several vessels that were initially bound for the breaking yards are now being kept in active service,” said the consultant. 

Indeed, London shipbrokers Braemar ACM reported this week that there have been only three demolition sales in the past 30 days. 

“Some of the demand increase since June is related to vessel downtime for scrubber installations. A total of 44 ships with an overall capacity of 465,000 teu are currently undergoing retrofit work at various shipyards,” said Alphaliner. 

However, this artificial charter market demand, caused by the looming IMO 2020 0.5% sulphur cap regulations on marine bunkers, is masking the weakening fundamentals of global trade. 

Earlier in the week, shipping association Bimco reiterated its expectation for containership scrapping at some 200,000 teu for the full year but warned that the “fundamental balance of the container shipping market will worsen this year”. 

Alphaliner said that it expected that the low scrapping rate would “persist for the remainder of the year” and as a consequence has lowered its recycling forecast to less than 250,000 teu from its previous estimate of 350,000 teu. 

Source: Alphaliner / The Loadstar

future of shipping

Scrubbers integral for IMO 2020 compliance

Scrubbers will be vital to ensure compliance to the International Maritime Organization’s low sulfur mandate despite facing skepticism from some quarters about their limitations, delegates said at an industry event this week.

By January, 1, 2020, when the IMO 2020 rule is implemented, S&P Global Platts Analytics predicts around 2,400 scrubbers to be operational worldwide. This figure is expected to ramp up to over 3,500 by the end of 2020, with more upside potential post 2020, Platts Analytics said.

Close to 70% of the VLCCs under construction and around a fourth of the overall global fleet of this category are expected to have scrubbers, according to shipping industry estimates.

Exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, are an alternative method of compliance and ever since MARPOL Annex VI came out in 1997, regulation 4 has allowed alternative methods of compliance, Ian Adams, executive director Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 said Wednesday at the 35th annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore.

“We’ve (the industry) been using scrubbers since 2006 … so, we’ve got a lot of knowledge,” Adams said.

Scrubbers can help remove up to 99% sulfur dioxides, up to 94% of particulate matter, up to 60% of black carbon, and significant amounts of polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH.

A recent study by Norway’s SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations, showed that the continued use of residual fuels with a scrubber can help towards global CO2 reduction.

The science behind EGCS is “absolutely sound,” Adams said.

Danish refined oil products tanker group Torm is set to use scrubbers as part of its IMO 2020 compliance strategy.

“In Torm, we don’t believe in a one-solution-fits-all approach,” Jesper Jensen, head of the technical division at the company, said, adding that Torm aims to retrofit 34 ships with scrubbers while about 48 ships will use compliant fuels.

Retrofit installations are usually more complicated than installing scrubbers on newbuildings while installation costs are creeping up at the shipyard as their capacity runs out, he said.

“Still, in my opinion it is quite an attractive solution to install scrubbers by retrofits on ships of certain types,” Jensen said.

Torm, for its part, has already inked a joint venture with ME Production, a leading scrubber manufacturer, and Guangzhou Shipyard International, part of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Group, to provide it the flexibility to make timely decisions on retrofit installations.

Maersk, too, sees scrubbers as a part of its IMO 2020 strategy.

“We as Maersk have been pretty clear for [about] two years now on our view that the industrial logic for the best place to remove sulfur is onshore a refinery, and not onboard a ship,” Savvas Manousos, global head of trading at Maersk Oil Trading, said Monday.

“Having said that, we have installed a number [of scrubbers] on our own ships, partly as a following tactic to our competitors because others have chosen [them] and therefore we were obliged to follow to an extent,” he said.

Ultimately, some shipowners are going to take a wait-and-see approach and see what happens to the price spread, he said.

“As for owners, from our discussion, most of them are still installing open loop scrubbers on their ships based on the economics of fuel consumption at sea, and also on the price differential,” Goh Chung Hun, director (shipping), Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said Monday.

This is despite Singapore’s announcement last year to ban the use of wash water discharge from open loop scrubbers from January 1, 2020, in its port waters.

“There is a marked preference for installing scrubbers in new rather than existing ships, and in bigger instead of smaller ships,” an executive said.

While the scrubber manufacturers are making a very strong pitch to highlight their benefits, not all shipowners are convinced or opting for them.

There are several tankers’ owners such as Ardmore Shipping and Euronav which have stayed away from installations, at least for the time being.

Euronav in early September said it had purchased VLSFO at a premium of only $47/mt to the bunker price for heavy fuel oil 3.5% sulfur content over the same procurement period, making VLSFO economics viable.

Still, Euronav said it did not dismiss scrubbers completely and continued to assess the potential retrofitting of part of its fleet with them.

“Owners do not want to put all their eggs in one basket as none is sure about the differential between low and high sulfur marine fuels” early next year, said an executive with another tankers company.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Maersk and MSC to suspend AE2 Asia-North Europe loop for the second time

Alliance partners Maersk and MSC are to “temporarily suspend” their AE2/Swan Asia-North Europe loop from the end of the month until mid-November, removing up to 20,000 teu a week from the trade.

Weakening demand and plummeting freight rates have so far obliged Asia-North Europe carriers to blank two-thirds more sailings than during the same period of last year, and now the 2M alliance is to suspend the loop for the second consecutive year.

Moreover, Maersk said it would also “balance its network to match reduced market demand for the upcoming [Chinese factory shutdown] Golden Week” and withdraw its AE7, MSC’s Condor, headhaul string in week 41, thus removing around another 17,000 teu of capacity from the market that week.

MSC said the AE2/Swan suspension would “help us to match capacity with the expected weaker demand for shipping services”, and in a customer advisory, Maersk said the  service would resume “in line with demand pickup”, suggesting that the suspension could be extended if demand on the route continued to be soft.

The 2M adopted a similar strategy last year, suspending the AE2/Swan from September to December, rather than using the blanked voyage tool favoured by the Ocean and THE alliances. It  said mothballing loops was “a better option for shippers”.

However last year rival carriers took commercial advantage of the service suspension. Indeed, one rival carrier source told The Loadstar the 2M suspension was the “best news we have had in a long time”.

This year, according to Alphaliner data, a total of 42 Asia-North Europe headhaul sailings were blanked in the first three quarters, compared with just 16  in the first nine months of 2018.

Also, at the end of last month, HMM terminated its AEX service, which it operated separately to its slot charter arrangement with the 2M. This removed some 4,800 teu of weekly capacity from the trade, albeit that the South Korean carrier replaced its ‘independent’ service with a slot charter deal with THE Alliance ahead of it joining the vessel sharing group as a full member in April next year.

Until now, the 2M partners have not voided any sailings, despite the peak season proving to be a damp squib and spot rates having slumped to $757 per teu as of last week, according to the reading of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) – a startling 19% below the level of a year ago and an alarming 24% drop from early January.

The planned six-week suspension of the AE2/Swan loop will see 12 17,800-20,500 teu vessels idled.

Source: The Loadstar