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  • Melvin Mathews

MRV - More teeth than SEEMP

A product Eniram intuitively developed several years ago precisely for the monitoring and recording of vessel performance is come to the forefront with the MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) initiative being proposed by the EU for monitoring reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transportation. This product which is widely installed on our customer’s vessels is known simply as the EVP (Eniram Vessel Platform) and is in fact the dynamic data collection platform that feeds optimization applications.

To know why this initiative is gaining legislative momentum, it is necessary to understand the background behind this EU proposal. According to the European Environment Agency, the environmental impact across Europe is significant as emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5) from shipping occurring in European waters can contribute up to 10–20 % of overall worldwide shipping emissions. When considering all ship traffic from national and international shipping arriving or departing from EU-27 ports the contribution can be up to 30 % forCO2.

According to the EU, “the precise amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions of EU-related maritime transport are not known due to the lack of monitoring and reporting of such emissions. The impact assessment and stakeholder consultation identified that a robust system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport is a prerequisite for any market-based measure or efficiency standard”. Equally, there is a wide perception that IMO regulation on SEEMP which although lacking sufficient teeth for enforcement is also influencing the EU to act.

Accordingly the operational features of the proposed MRV system would:

  • Focus on CO2 as predominant GHG emitted by ships and on other climate relevant information such as efficiency information

  • Calculate annual CO2 emissions based on fuel consumption and fuel type and energy efficiency

  • Use existing structures and bodies of the maritime sector, in particular recognised organisations to verify emission reports and to issue documents for compliance

  • Exclude small emitters (ships below 5000 GT) which represent about 40% of the fleet, but only 10% of the total emissions.

For the sake of simplicity the EU proposal illustrates the MRV process as follows:

Regardless of the ship’s flag the following routes will be covered:

  • Intra-EU voyages

  • Voyages from the last non-EU port to the first EU port of call

  • Voyages from an EU port to the next non-EU port of call

The outcome expected from the MRV is to:

  • Cut CO2 emissions from the journeys covered by up to 2%. The system would also reduce net costs to owners by up to €1.2 billion per year in 2030.

  • Provide useful insights into the performance of individual ships, their associated operational costs and potential resale value.

A real-time onboard data collection platform (such as EVP) fulfils almost entirely the monitoring and data required for reporting needs of the MRV both annually and per voyage basis. The platform when made part of the monitoring plan (MP) acts as a tool to collect all the data required to fulfil all the reporting needs of the MRV. Proposed reporting requirements such as the emissions reported should be based on actual fuel type and quantity consumed. A good real-time data collection platform already monitors and records dynamic data such as the exact routes, distances and positions within the EU and on voyages to and from the region.. Verification reports required for issuance of document of compliance (DOC) and annual emission reports in line with the MP are easy to generate when required. Of course the vessel platform as we know is not limited to fulfilling just these requirements. It was designed for and is capable of gathering a lot more performance data when it comes to effective reduction in emissions while making things simple yet commercially viable. This is precisely what the EU too is expecting to achieve by mandatory reporting and proposing tighter control of emissions from ships.

The EU believes that this initiative will benefit ship owners to the extent that, they will be better equipped to take decisions on major investments and to obtain the corresponding finance. However what owners also need to take into account is that as Directive 2009/16/EC provides for the detention of ships in the absence of the certificates which must be carried on board. It has been proposed that the document confirming compliance of the ship with the monitoring and reporting obligations should be added by the Commission to the list of certificates and documents referred to in Article 13(1) of Directive 2009/16/EC. This makes it more enforceable by port state control.

Important dates for the MRV:

  • This MRV Regulation is proposed to enter into force on 1 July 2015 to ensure that the Member States and relevant stakeholders have sufficient time to take the necessary measures for the effective application of this Regulation before the first reporting period starts on 1 January 2018.

  • By 31 August 2017, companies shall submit to the verifiers a monitoring plan indicating the method chosen to monitor and report emissions and other climate relevant information for each of their ships.

  • From 2019, by 30 April of each year, companies shall submit to the Commission and to the authorities of the flag States concerned, an emission report concerning the emissions during the entire reporting period for each ship under their responsibility.

Making mandatory the collection of data on emissions is an important first step in the right direction to get a more accurate understanding of the scale of the issue and to reduce emission levels in Europe for the benefit of all. A real-time data collection platform fuelling vessel optimization can help ship owners / operators measure their environmental footprint more accurately to meet the regulatory needs with minimum fuss, while accurately be able to measure the return on their optimization investment.

Let me know your thoughts.

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