Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Shipping industry needs new ship designs, technologies to achieve CO2 goals

The shipping industry recently concluded that the sector will need to design ships differently and be more technologically innovative to reach world climate goals and counter cyber security risks.

At the Tripartite Shipbuilding Forum held recently in Nantong, China, ship owners, classification societies, and shipyards agreed found an urgent need for new ship designs, equipment, propulsion systems and alternative fuels to achieve the carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction goals established by the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the specific objectives to be established for international shipping by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) as part of its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy.

The shipping industry needs to use all available technology to a much greater extent, and increase technological innovation to reduce CO2 emissions to the ambitious degree required by the international community, according to a media release by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

The tripartite forum therefore established inter-industry working groups with the aim of developing a better understanding of current R&D efforts for the new technologies needed by the shipping sector to realize its vision for zero CO2 emissions this century, ICS said.

The critical importance of the safety of seafarers and the ships which they operate was also discussed. There are increasing concerns that new regulations governing ship designs aimed at further reducing CO2 emissions could potentially have adverse effects on the safe operation of ships.

One example would be any legal requirements that led to a further reduction of engine power. The concern is that ships could get into problems during bad weather if the engine is insufficiently powered, putting both the crew and the environment at serious risk.

The tripartite meeting participants agreed that the safety of life at sea must always remain paramount.

Another concern is the recent cyber attacks which have increased awareness of potential threats facing the industry.

It was agreed that the industry needs to adopt new methods and standards in ship design and construction to create more resilient digital systems on board. A more layered approach to a ship’s digital system and greater segregation can increase safety, so that a single attack cannot readily spread to IT and other systems both on board the ship and ashore.

The tripartite forum agreed that in advance of its next meeting in 2018, the industry partners will work together to develop new design standards to help raise the resilience of ships’ digital systems and make them more resistant to possible cyber attacks.

It also reconfirmed the participating organizations’ ongoing collaboration towards industry self-regulation as an important complement to the statutory regulations developed by IMO.

Photo: GeoffreyWhiteway

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