Sunday, April 18

LNG carriers: get ready for EEXI by 2023

While the Covid pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, LNG vessels continue to trade, drydock and be delivered despite these most challenging of circumstances. Some crew members have been unavailable to be relived for long periods beyond their contract date, while newly joining crews remain unaware of when they will leave. The resilience of the industry is quite remarkable; all credit to the unsung heroes – the seafarers.

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee met virtually for its 75th Session (MEPC 75) in November 2020. The cut-down agenda mainly focused on measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). The measures concerned are those given in the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the newly established Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).

EEDI regulations were introduced in 2011 for new ships to promote the use of more energy efficient vessel equipment and engines. The EEDI requires a minimum energy efficiency level per capacity mile for different ship types and size segments and, through periodic reassessment of targets and performance, encourages a process of continued innovation and technical development in the fuel efficiency of new ships.

Pursuant to the initial IMO GHG Strategy, MEPC has recently been considering short-term measures for the reduction of GHG, with a view to agreement by 2023. MEPC 75 approved a package of new measures, including EEXI and an annual operational CII.

“EEXI is the application of the EEDI to existing ships”

The draft amendments to Marpol Annex VI will be considered for adoption at MEPC 76 in June 2021, with a view to entry into force on 1 January 2023. Further work on the supporting guidelines is underway in a correspondence group and will be further considered at an intersessional meeting in May, prior to deliberations at MEPC 76. An impact assessment is also being developed in association with UNCTAD.

In essence, the EEXI is the application of the EEDI to existing ships, with additional guidance to aid application to the existing fleet. It will apply to the same ship types as the EEDI and will use the same EEDI baselines.

The reduction factor for LNG carriers in the proposed Marpol Annex VI amendments is 30% from the baseline, while for other gas carriers it is between 0 and 30%, depending on ship size. Verification that the ship’s attained EEXI is in accordance with the requirements is to take place at the first annual, intermediate, or renewal survey after entry into force which, as mentioned, is anticipated on 1 January 2023. The EEDI must be calculated for each ship and be accompanied by an EEXI technical file, which will form the basis for verification by the flag administration or recognised organisation on its behalf.

A ship subject to the EEDI regulations may use the verified EEDI to demonstrate compliance, provided the attained EEDI is equal to or less than the required EEXI. Verification will be documented in the International Energy Efficiency (IEE) Certificate.

SIGTTO remains the provider of best practice, guidance and recommendations to the gas shipping and terminal industry. We have continued to provide such guidance despite the pandemic and have remained open for business throughout. Two examples of this are the societies latest guidelines, which were both approved at the autumn board and AGM, namely Guidance on Gas Carrier and Terminal Gangway Interface and Floating LNG Installations. Further details of both of these new publications can be found on our web site.