Maritime shipping is the world's most carbon-efficient form of transportation compared to road and air transportation. However, research has shown that the emissions will be doubled by 2050 if it is left unaddressed. In view of such scenario, the industry seeks to further improve the fuel efficiency and carbon footprint across the shipping sector.
Following the Paris Agreement in 2015, the European Union (EU) had introduced the Greenhouse gases (GHG) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulations which applies to all vessels to and from the EU ports. 2017 will be the first year where the shipping industry has to develop and submit their MRV plan and start monitoring their emission in 2018.
On top of that, sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions is another critical concern due to its negative impact on human health especially for the populations living in the ports vicinity and major shipping routes. Hence, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee has introduce the Global Sulphur Cap in 2016 where the sulphur content of marine fuel has been limited to a maximum of 0.5% m/m. The new global limit will enter into force by 1st January 2020. Currently, the global sulphur content of marine fuel oil stands at 3.5% m/m.
In 2017, we have established and formalised the MISC Carbon Commitments to improve the energy efficiency of vessels operated by MISC and prioritising vessel energy efficiency capacity in newbuilds and acquisitions. Additionally, carbon commitment, carbon intensity reduction targets and strategy for our shipping operations were established and endorsed, from a baseline in 2016. The strategy involves optimizing four key areas that will enhance the operational efficiency of our fleet which includes technology, commercial, operations and awareness/capability development.
In view of the EU MRV regulations, we have collaborated with the DNV GL to develop a system application to monitor and report the energy and environmental performance of the vessels. The system will assist MISC in producing quality operational data and improve performance analysis where the data can be used to make better decisions for the fleet. Roll-out of the system and implementation is currently underway.
In addition to that, MISC fully supports the use of cleaner fuels which will reduce the amount of SOx emanated from ships. As required by international environmental regulations to reduce SOx emissions, the current maximum sulphur content of fuels used by vessels in Emission Control Areas (ECA) is 0.1% m/m. We have since switched to using low sulphur marine fuels for our vessels before entering the ECAs. We are also actively planning and exploring solutions to ensure a cost effective compliance to the new global SOx regulations which limits sulphur content to 0.5% m/m starting 1 January 2020.
Engineering modification is required for the vessels to enable the use of low sulphur fuel. Engineering studies are ongoing and the required conversion have been completed for several vessels. For example, in June 2018, our LNG Carrier, the Puteri Mutiara Satu has been arranged to undergo the relevant modification works.
The feasibility study on scrubber installation is also in progress as an alternative to comply with the new global limits. All of our vessels are in compliance with the applicable sulphur limits when navigating at the Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) and our newbuilds delivered from 2016 onwards are equipped with Tier III compliant engine when navigating at the ECAs.
Emphasis is given on the use of non-ozone depleting refrigerants, in line with our commitment in phasing out the Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) under the provisions of the Montreal Protocol. Today, more than 80% of the refrigerants used on our vessels are of non-ozone-depleting-type.
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