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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tanker Forum Round-up

The INTERTANKO 2017 Annual Tanker Event held in Houston drew to a close on Friday 26 May with more than 120 delegates attended a one-day Tanker Forum that included four sessions covering chemical tankers, vetting, ballast water management and air and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Here, we cover the highlights of each session.

Chemical Tankers Session
A Chemical Tanker Forum moderated by Capt Per Tyrsted Jørgensen, Chairman of the INTERTANKO Chemical Tanker Committee, was opened with comments provided by the Captain of the Port, Capt Kevin Oditt.

An overview of PSC compliance issues and of challenges that are faced with regarding safety of navigation and traffic management within the port of Houston was provided by CDR Carrero and Steve Nerhiem respectively. Capt William Diehl of the Greater Houston Port Bureau provided delegates with an overview of the efforts being made to improve efficiency of chemical tanker transits. In particular Capt. Diehl focused on the use of blanket NORs and the provision/use of layberths. These presentations were complimented by a presentation on the use of INTERTANKO’s revised tank cleanliness standards by Mr Svend Foyn-Bruun.

Mr Foyn-Bruun spoke about the revisions and improvements to the standards and the associated guidance that is being provided. It was seen that, when used properly, these standards could contribute to the efficiencies of chemical tanker transits in the port of Houston and result in significant savings for chemical tanker operators.

The presentations were followed by an active Q&A session where members engaged with the speakers.

All presentations can be accessed here.

Contact: Ajay Gour

 

Vetting Session
Alan Johnson, Chairman of the INTERTANKO Vetting Committee provided the opening remarks and moderated a session on vetting. He stated that although vetting had done a lot to improve operational safety record of the industry however, with vetting becoming critical for tradability of a ship, it is becoming increasingly important that the whole system works efficiently and fairly for all stakeholders. Presentations were made by Capt Howard Snaith, General Manager – CDI, Ajay Gour, Senior Manager at INTERTANKO and Capt Andrew Smiley, Vice President – Shipping, Koch Supply & Trading LP. 

Mr Gour provided an overview of the issues that operators face highlighting that most of the challenges are driven by the lack of transparency of the vetting policies of different companies and the charterparty clauses that are being used. These are driving increased numbers of inspections both SIRE as well as inspections by terminals.

Capt Snaith highlighted the work that CDI does and the initiatives that CDI has put in place to enable terminals to access and review CDI inspection reports which should help reduce ship-inspections made by terminals. Capt Smiley commented that positive comments by inspectors would improve the assessment of ships.

A very healthy Q&A session followed with a number focussing on the harmonisation of vetting policies which generated a discussion on the pros and cons of such harmonisation. 

All presentations can be accessed here.

Contact: Ajay Gour

 

Ballast Water Management
The overlap between technical challenges and regulatory compliance was addressed by INTERTANKO’s Tim Wilkins and Joe Angelo, who provided the regulatory overview. They were joined by Debra DiCiana, of Choice Ballast Solutions, who gave a detailed technical review of the USCG type approved BWMS.

To add to the discussion, Capt Jennifer Williams, Director of Compliance at the USCG, provided her remarks and views on meeting the CG’s requirements.

During a lively session, the predominant theme of questions from the floor by Members was the challenges of meeting the USCG requirements with only three type-approved systems on the market.

Members highlighted the operational limitations of these systems, in particular the holding time of 72 hours/3 days for two of the three Ballast Water Management Systems. They say this presents a considerable challenge to product and chemical tanker operators trading in the US where turnaround times between loading and ballasting are considerably shorter than 72 hours/3 days.

Members are reminded that INTERTANKO regularly updates its FAQ page on the INTERTANKO Ballast Water website which contains several pertinent questions and answers relating to the USCG regulations.

Contact: Tim Wilkins or Joe Angelo

 

Air and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
INTERTANKO’s Gil-Yong Han and Dragos Rauta, along with Sara Shipman-Myers and Javier Brito of Unity Bunkering, presented on the full spectrum of 0.50% sulphur content compliant marine fuels and also discussed the potential of the industry to contribute further to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Capt Jennifer Williams of USCG provided the US perspective on the discussions.

Mr Han highlighted the importance of globally consistent and effective sulphur content verifications, stressing the thin line between compliance and non-compliance.

Responding to a question as to how the bunker industry will meet the 0.50% sulphur content limit compliant fuels, Ms Shipman Myers stressed the need for dialogue between fuel users and suppliers in order to better understand different needs of the two groups, adding that by working together and sharing data with each other, shared goals of compliance and air pollution prevention could be achieved.

Mr Brito provided a fuel supplier’s insight into future 0.50% sulphur content limit compliant fuels with some examples of future deliverables. Capt Williams, meanwhile, addressed the need to have consistent fuel verification procedures commenting on US EPA’s ECA penalty scheme.

In addition to the discussions on fuel sulphur content, the session also discussed Mr Rauta’s presentation on greenhouse gas reductions detailing the IMO’s road map which coincides with the IMO’s fuel oil consumption data collection and reporting system.

Other questions raised by the audience included fuel suppliers’ capacity to deliver a sufficient amount of different fuels, switchover of fuels before and after the implementation date and the potential of scrubbers compared with other compliance methods.

Mr Rauta has provided an update on an IMO initiative to develop additional regulation aimed at reducing GHG emissions from international shipping. The IMO plan to develop this strategy is aligned with the timeline under the Paris Agreement and it has been decided that such new provisions are adopted by 2023. 

The INTERTANKO Council decided that our Association should be proactively involved and, together with the Round Table Organisations, make concrete suggestions to assist the IMO in developing its strategy.

The presentation delivered to the forum by Mr Rauta introduces the elements of the Round Table submission to IMO as well as a brief summary of the incoming EU Regulation for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of some operational data (fuel consumption, distance travelled, time at sea, cargo carried and so-called “efficiency indexes”) from ships calling at EU member State ports.

The annual monitoring and collection of data starts on 1 January 2018 and ships have to have Monitoring Plans prepared and submitted for verification by 31 August 2017. INTERTANKO has prepared guidance to assist Members to develop their monitoring plans

This EU regulation imposes a parallel reporting system with the data collection and reporting system developed by IMO. Since IMO’s data collection starts from 1 January 2019, INTERTANKO and other ship owners associations are lobbying the European Commission to recognise the IMO system and avoid double reporting, particularly keeping in mind that data reported on EU voyages only is less relevant than the IMO’s complete set of data.

All presentations are available here.  

Contact: Gil-Yong Han or Dragos Rauta