The fight to reduce emissions caused by the marine industry, especially by shipowners using virulent scrubbers, continues. And we’re not the only ones bringing awareness to these polluters.
Each year, researchers analyze shipowners’ operating performance according to the Baltic Exchange indices. Since shipping accounts for 3% of global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, there has been a big push to report shipowners’ compliance with mandated reductions in carbon emissions, specifically using IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and GHG emissions regulations.
Across 23 public fleets surveyed for 2023’s report, given only 42% of companies were compliant/ willing to share data, among the top performers for reduced carbon emissions are Belships in first place followed by 2020 Bulkers, Grindrod, EuroDry and Safe Bulkers. Though ranking at the top, these performers scored between a B plus and B minus.
On the other hand, the pollution “winners” are Good Bulk, Seanergy Maritime, Jinhui Shipping and Transportation, Uni-Asia Shipping, and Thoresen Thai Agencies. These shipowners ranked last, earning a grade of C minus.
While these scores aren’t enough to cause concern, yet, as mandates tighten and become even stricter, CII regulations will cause ratings to drop by 2% each year meaning that those scoring a B minus this year could earn a C ranking next year. Similarly, those at a C minus will likely drop to a D rating unless further changes are made to reduce carbon and other GHG emissions.
Factors influencing these rankings included vessel characteristics such as mileage, speed, and fuel consumption. To meet these performance standards, top performers like Bellships have phased out “non-eco” design ships. However, Belships’s B plus rating can be attributed to the procurement of a large new vessel, which contributed to a 21% increase in their GHG emissions for 2022, equating to 372,787 metric tons of GHG emissions.
Compared to Belships, Seanergy produced an estimated 425,338 metric tons of GHG emissions in 2021. Seanergy has not reported their 2022 emissions data, which could be higher given their acquisition of two large new vessels, one of which is toxic-scrubber-equipped. In fact, Seanergy has 9 vessels such as the MV Lordship that are fitted with insalubrious scrubber systems. It is no surprise that they rank at the bottom of the list for emissions regulations or that they have consistently ranked in the bottom five for the past FIVE years.
To improve their rankings, companies such as Seanergy might benefit from removing their lethal scrubber-equipped ships and opting for biofuels.
Now that shipowners are required to report their emissions data in accordance with the new 2023 CII and EEXI regulations, it’ll be easier to tell who is responsible for the destruction of our oceans.