Bureau Veritas warns shipowners will need to act on IMO carbon rules


Bureau Veritas Warns Shipowners will need to Act on IMO Carbon Rules

Jul. 2 2021

Large proportion of the fleet could be heading for low efficiency ratings while speed reductions will be higher than first expected

Recently agreed decarbonisation measures from the International Maritime Organization have been widely criticised for not going far enough. But, despite the impression of an easy-going regulation, figures from French classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) show more than half of the world's dry bulk fleet could fall outside minimum operational efficiency standards by 2026 unless action is taken.

The newly agreed Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) seeks a 1% annual improvement in carbon intensity between 2019 and 2022. When the regulation enters into force in 2023, it requires a 2% annual improvement between 2023 and 2026.

The CII rates ships A to E based on their operational efficiency, with those ships rated D and E falling outside the minimum required standard.

BV’s figures show that in 2019 around 20% of the world bulker fleet would have qualified for a D rating and 15% would have received an E.

The classification society estimates that if no further improvements are made to ship efficiency, in a business-as-usual scenario, the number of D and E-rated bulkers would increase by another 12% by 2023.

Ships rated D and E would climb by a further 28%, compared to 2019, by 2026. Unless shipowners take action, by 2026 around 27% of the bulker fleet would be rated D and 37% could be rated in the lowest E-rated group.

There is a similar outlook for the tanker fleet. But the prognosis is most severe for the containership fleet, with nearly 60% of the fleet rated E by 2026 if no action is taken under the business-as-usual scenario.


Speed reductions are likely to be larger than first calculated.

Vassilios DIMOULAS Bureau Veritas' Technology and Innovation Manager for Greece, Cyprus and Malta

Higher than expected

Some ships may also face higher speed reductions than expected under the upcoming Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) regulation following a revision of guidelines.

The EEXI sets a minimum technical efficiency standard for existing ships. Ships that cannot attain the minimum technical efficiency standard will likely have to undertake engine power limitation (EPL).

Regulators have now changed the calculation for engine power for those ships that will adopt EPL. At a recent IMO meeting, it was agreed that engine power should be calculated at 83% of the limited maximum continuous rating (MCR) rather than the initial proposal for 75%.

BV found that for many ships, this will mean slower speeds.

For a 176,300-dwt capesize bulk carrier built in 2004, the required EPL will increase from 25% to 32% and the maximum speed will fall from 14.8 knots to 14.4 knots. For a 56,500-dwt 2011-built bulker, the maximum speed would reduce from 12.3 knots to 11.9 knots.

Vassilios Dimoulas, BV's technology and innovation manager for Greece, Cyprus and Malta, said there would be similar results for tankers and containerships adopting EPL, although there would be no affect on LNG carriers.

He pointed out that nothing changes for vessels that do not require EPL.

“Vessels that need power limitation will see that it [EPL] will be higher compared with the previous definition. A quick estimation of the increases is possible, but we expect an increase in the range of 7% to 9% in general,” he said