testata inforMARE

12 August 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 22:21 GMT+2

June 28, 2022

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The IMO and EU standards for the environment will result in an increase in the operational costs of the ro-pax vessels that appears unsustainable

Two studies by Assshipowners and RINA warn that the problem (the crisis?) is imminent. Between 275 million and 380 million euros in extra costs for the Italian cabinet-level fleet

The additional costs for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of ships generated by the climate protection measures introduced in the International Maritime Organization (IMO)? And the ones planned for the maritime transport sector under the European Union's climate package "Fit for 55"? They will be huge and, in the case of regular passenger and rotable sea transport services, they will likely reverberate both on ship owners and ship operators, and on the users of services and public collectivity. This seems to be the future scenario outlined by a study carried out by the RINA classification and certification company on behalf of the Italian shipowner association Assshipowners and focused on the application to the Italian fleet of ships -pax and ro-ro of the IMO measure on reducing the carbon intensity indicator (CII) and by a study carried out by the same Assshipowners related to the "Fit for 55" package on passenger and freight transport for the major islands and the smaller islands as well as on the Autostrade del Mare.

The RINA study, presented today by Andrea Cogliolo, is part of the initial aims of the IMO for reducing greenhouse gases emitted by ships that predict a 40% percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 compared to levels of 2008 percent, to rise then to 70% percent by 2050, the date by which the 50% percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is expected. The paper highlights the impact of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) on the Italian flag ro-pax fleet that is formed by 73 vessels, a fleet that for more than 73% in 2026 would no longer be allowed to navigate if they are not put in place additional measures to improve energy efficiency or if a change in operational profile will not be expected. One change-Cogliolo specified-that mostly should correspond to a decrease in the speed of the ship, which is the most effective measure to obtain it.

The CII requirements will enter into force since 2023. The Carbon Intensity Indicator is the carbon intensity indicator that measures the efficiency with which the ship carries passengers or goods and to which an annual rating is assigned from letter A, in the case of the best performances as to reduced carbon dioxide emissions, to the letter E, in the case of the worst performance. The RINA study highlights that in 2026, 32% percent of the Italian ro-pax fleet will have an E rating and 41% percent rating D, efficiency assessment that would improve by excluding the emissions that ships produce in ports, with an E rating which in such a case would be allocated to 19% percent of the Italian ro-pax fleet and a D rating at 42% percent. Summarizing the outcome of the analysis, Cogliolo found that if within the next 3-4 years 73% percent of the fleet will no longer be compliant for shipping, then it will be necessary to operate it to bring it into compliance and it will mean "going more slowly", reducing it of the speed of ships that would obviously have significant repercussions on the operational efficiency of maritime services.

But as early as next year, more than 23% percent of Italian ferries will be in the final bracket and not complying with the standard (rating E) and a further 40% percent would need radical intervention to improve efficiency. energy in the short term (rating D). Only 37% per cent of the naviglio would be able to comply with the requirements without the adoption of further measures (A-B-C rating).

The study in Assshipowners, presented by Enrico Allieri, is above all the remarkable push for the renewal of the fleets imprinted by the IMO, in the form of a technical lever, and by the European Union, in the form of an economic lever, which it envisages-he noted Allieri-an acceleration of the process of renewing the fleets compared to the usual lifecycle of ships. "At a time when shipping does not have technically feasible, adequate and cost-competitive solutions to decarbonize and when the pressure imposed by the regulations will result," it said in a moment. inevitably in an economic pressure.

Currently, for the shipping sector, the "Fit for 55%" package provides for its inclusion in the EU ETS for the exchange of emission allowances in the EU, the imposition of greenhouse gas intensity requirements on marine fuels through the FuelEU Maritime initiative, the revision of the European Energy Tax Directive (ETD) proposing the removal of the expected tax exemptions for fossil fuels employed in maritime transport and the adoption of a new regulation for the realization of an infrastructure for alternative fuels (Alternatives Fuel Infrastructure Deployment-AFID). In this regard, Allieri noted that the inclusion of shipping in the EU ETS and the revision of the ETD Directive will automatically translate into an increase in the cost of energy, while following the adoption of the AFID Regulation, it would have to be to intervene on the cost of the electric power of land that in the ports would be provided to the ships.

The pain notes come precisely from the assessment of the increase in the cost of energy determined by the EU ETS and ETD. The study explains that the combustion of a tonne of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO), the low-sulphur naval fuel, produces around 3.1 tonnes of CO2 and that, under EU ETS, currently a share of CO2 is traded at 85 euro. This means that for each tonne of shipping fuel, 263.5 euros of additional costs are expected to be added. In addition, under the ETD, applying the minimum tax rate imposed by the EU would need to be added another 37 euros / tonne. The final result is that for every tonne of VLSFO consumed, it would have to be spent about 300 euros / tonne more. A type of fuel, the VLSFO, is necessary to specify as a reference, which today in the port of Rotterdam is priced at around 900 (851 euros) /tonne.

The Assshipowners study also highlights that the EU ETS and the ETD Directive fit in with a very sustained growth environment of the price of fuels compared to pre-pandemic levels. Recalling that the pre-pandemic price of fuel was 400 euros / tonne and today rose to around 1,000 euros / tonne, the paper points out that with EU ETS and ETD the price will grow further to over 1,300 euros / tonne, determining an increase of +325% of the cost of energy that for many shipping companies accounts for more than 50% of the operational costs of ships.

The analysis by Assshipowners then clarified, in order to make known what the annual consumption of the Italian ro-pax fleet and the related annual quantities of greenhouse gas emissions were, which in 2019 the vessels of the cabinet-level fleet consumed about 1.25 million of tonnes of fuel and emitted around 3.90 million tonnes of CO2, while in the same year the total of CO2 emissions in Italy amounted to 418 million tonnes, volume to which the cabinet-level fleet contributed 0.9%.

The study thus quantifies more than 275 million euros per year, of which almost 230 million for the ro-ro-pax vessels engaged in long-haul routes, typically for Sardinia and the Autostrade of the Sea, the additional costs that the sector operates the cabotage fleet will have to support following the introduction of the EU ETS, which would be able to rise to 320 million euros with the introduction of the ETD, but could even reach 380 million euros if, in order to energy, the level of industrial excise taxes were adopted. For each ship, it would be almost 3.5 million euros more per year, Allieri said, illustrating what the additional cost per passenger will be on the ro-pax ships employed in the long-haul links : out of a total of 9.0 million passengers transported, estimated to be 260-290 million euros the cost determined by EU ETS and ETD, the additional cost per passenger would be around 30 euros, figure-which is around 70% percent of the current price. of the ticket for a bridge pass, which is usually the lowest fare to embark on a ferry.

It is inevitable to ask ourselves-as Allieri and Cogliolo did-who will bear these additional charges, being presumptive, in fact, likely, that if any part of these costs are covered by ship owners or ship operators, another will be borne of the users of maritime services and another party still, probably, will be borne by the State in the framework of services to ensure territorial continuity.

As for the shipping industry alone, Assshipowners believe that " certain initiatives put in place to foster environmental sustainability risk putting serious crises and certain aspects in a way that can irreparably affect shipping, with impacts in particular on the Italians living on the islands also with regard to the supply of goods, the territorial continuity guaranteed by the Constitution and the tourism industry. "

"Only euphemistically can be described as worrying and which unfortunately confirms how much our association has been supporting for a long time : the measures that have been taken by us," said the president of Hesse, Stefano Messina. The European Commission for the decarbonisation of maritime transport, completely shareable in theory, is intact and risk creating serious damage not only to the economic resilience of the companies engaged in these services, but also to the downstream, all over the waterway : freight services, passenger transport, island tourism. These two studies testify to all this with incontrovertible numbers, data and analysis, which should be taken into account at the national and European level before adopting rules that impair so heavily on the sector, by making ideological choices that, in addition to not really ensuring environmental sustainability, would also go to undermine economic and social. "

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