Tuesday, May 28, 2024
12/10, 11:10


Sustainable shipping towards 2050: a mission (Im)Possible

Stefanos Papandreou & Theano Kalapotharakou Elnavi’s Co publishers, exclusively report from Limassol Cyprus

The discussion was moderated by Themis Papadopoulos President CSC & CEO of Interorient Navigation.
Mr. Emanuele Grimaldi ICS President and MD of Grimaldi expressed his concerns about ETS EU that will cause a very confusing maritime environment and other countries around may follow the same paradigm creating a mix of trading systems.
Mr. Philippos Phillis ECSA President & CEO of Lemissoler marked that we are heavily regulated however we don’t have enough tools to encounter with the difficulties.
Mrs Blenheim president of German Shipowners Association said that we need an international framework and a clear path to go ahead with the requirements.
Nikolaus H. Schuss President of BIMCO referred to the targets of decarbonization mentioning that are too tough but there are various steps such as raising money from a levy on marine fuel and multiple technologies for alternative fuels.
All speakers agreed that EU has to reconsider the ETS and alternative fuels are at the moment impossible to be adopted by the shipping industry and the only way to achieve the targets is to align our policies and adopt a more realistic approach.
What we have to avoid is prejudice and fundamentals. We cannot have zero emissions in one day, it will take much time for sure more than a couple of decade and moreover EU has to address the issue inside the IMO framework.
Mr. George Mouskas vice President of CUS moderated a panel with distinguished shipowners and discussed the perspective on the future of EU shipping.
Mr. Andreas Hadjiyiannis President of CUS pointed out that ETS should address the cargo owner and the charterers otherwise these measures and regulations harm the competitiveness of the shipping industry. Shipowners operate their ships with most efficient way and economically approach.
Mr. George Prokopiou chairman of Dynacom, Tankers Management expressed his concern about the ongoing process of decarbonization adopted by IMO. Europe is shooting its foot with these unrealistic measures as we should have in mind that China has everything shipyards ships banks crews.
Suzanna Laskaridis director of Laskaridis shipping was asked if EU shipping will grow in the next years. We have to be more self-sufficient in maintaining our fleet as Europe and reminded the Covid -19 period that it took much time to persuade politicians to recognize seafarers as essential workers and the closure of the suez canal that caused a huge disruption in the world trade.
Mr. Thanassis Martinos Managing Director of Eastern Mediterranean noted that Europe is not so much important for tramp owners. All these measures are influencing container ships and ferry ships on the contrary the organized shipowners will be benefited from this window of opportunity.
“All these innovative ideas will not contribute to clean the environment and why we penalize the ships since we have a common interest to reduce consumption of fuels. Shipowners are the biggest environmentalists we love sea” said Mr. Prokopiou.
Mr. Martinos referred to the taxation system and he said that does not worry because it is based on tonnage tax however he is very concerned about the sanctions. The majority of the Greek owned fleet is under Panama Marshall and Liberia is not under European therefore sanctions are not working for the benefit of European shipping.
All speakers agreed that Europe must realize that shipping is a valuable asset with huge geopolitical importance.

Energy Transition in shipping

The topics of energy transition, transformation of Shipping and the role of shipbuilding in an evolving shipping industry were discussed by prominent and distinguished personalities.
The first panel included the following speakers: Semiramis Paliou CEO of Diana Shipping, Jan Dieleman president of Cargill Ocean, Sebastian Landerretche head Freight platform Dreyfus and Roel Hoenders head of Climate Action & Clear Air of IMO.
The discussion was moderated by Manuela Tomassini head of sustainability and technical assistance of EMSA.
Anne Katrine Bjerregaard head of strategy sustainability and ESG Marsk McKinney Moller Center for zero carbon Shipping warned that it is time to act now as the shipping industry radically transforming towards 2050.
The next panel was moderated by Nick Brown chairman of IACS. The panel included the following speakers: Konastantinos Stampedakis co-founder & MD of Erma first, Polys Hajioannou CEO & Chairman of Sage Bulkers Inc, Chris Alexander Korfiatis Vice President of Marine operations of Royal Caribbean, Mark O’ Neil president of Intermanager, Kenneth Tveter head of green transition of Clarksons, and Stephanos Angelakos CEO of Angelakos Hellas.
Speakers agreed that although the yards’ capacity is declining new shipyards established to invest in more energy efficient ships.
The need for newbuilding ships and more innovative projects will create strong partnerships in the shipbuilding sector that will enable to develop non carbon projects.
Polys Hajioannou announced that Safe Bulkers ordered two dual fuel ships, green methanol ready that will be delivered in 2026 although. Polys Hajioannou marked that although we risk $6mil in excess the only reason we did it is that we want to lead the market in this decarbonization path of shipping.
The speakers also mentioned that shipping far more than the ports to operate environmental friendly for two reasons. The first has to with the cold ironing infrastructure and the second with the offloading of carbon capture residues.
At moment we navigate an unknown future in the shipbuilding sector because we are not ready for the changes especially regarding the alternative fuels.
However all stakeholders in Shipping would like to help and invest on the development of the utmost sustainable and efficient technologies to create a better environment for our children.

Exploring Ship Finance

In the last day of the conference the discussion directed to the future trends of the sectors of ship financing and maritime technology.
Ben Nolan managing director of Stifel referred to the future trends and emerging markets for a dynamic and resilient shipping industry followed by a panel discussion that included Christos Tsakonas global head of shipping DNB Bank, Erik Helberg CEO Clarksons securities, Nicole Mylona CEO Transmed Shipping, Harry Vafias CEO and founder STEALTHGAS inc, Mark Friedman Senior managing director Evercore, Atef Abou Merhi Managing Director Pelagic Partners. The speakers discussed the topic navigating the seas of Capital and exploring ship finance.
They agreed Shipping othe most efficient mean of transporting commodities and financing will have a great effect on how much the market will go ahead in the years ahead.
Christos Tsakonas referred to the various sources of Capital such as bank lending private equity and stock exchange and pointed out that a bank evaluates track record cash flow and the viability of the project in regards to the new environmental regulations.
All speakers agreed that currently capital is available but it is too expensive.Mark Friedman marked that we also have in mind that shipping is cyclical market so the timing is very important.
Nicole Mylona agreed that there is available capital for good projects and added that the a crucial factor for granting financing is sustainability which means reducing the consumption of air emissions and maintaining energy efficiency strategy.
The last years alternative sources of financing have replaced the traditional lending.
Harry Vafias mentioned that StelthGas and the other companies of Vafias Group have eliminated bank financing and has taken advantage other means capital to expand and grow its fleet.
Abou Merhi remarked that private equity focuses on long terms projects and do not invest on risky assets.
It must be noticed that at the moment all shipping sectors experience an exceptional market Drycargo Tankers Containerships Car carriers LNG etc giving phenomenal returns to the investors.
Nicole Mylona remarked that ongoing environmental regulations will cause a significant increase in the operation expenses of ships however competition is a good driver to maintain cost effective and survive through the market difficulties.
However it is very hard for small companies to afford the energy transition compared with the bigger companies with 50-100 vessels can operate more easily an ammonia powered fleet.
Harry Vafias agreed that there is a reduction of the number of the shipping companies but the most important is the balance sheet and not the number of ships. You can survive everything if you can control the operational costs.
Regarding startup companies it is quite difficult to get finance especially in projects that has to do with premature or risky project last such as nuclear propulsion.
An important question was raised by Haralampos Mylonas founder of Transmed Shipping in which sector of the  shipping industry it’s more profitable to invest in the next few years. Speakers said that tankers will be an attractive sector to invest and every good project in any market that is conducted by an excellent management team.

The key technological changes and the digitizal transformation in shipping

The speakers of the technology session Peter Broadhurst Inmarsat, Erwin Derlagen Enesel and Piotr Intership Navigation referred to the most significant technological advances of the last decade.
The speakers said that we can take advantage of the technology to improve two main areas: the skills of the crews and the predictive maintenance of the vessels.
However we have to educate people how to use technology onboard and empower the knowledge of seafarers by dialogue and communication.
Commercialization of technology is another important aspect with the to improve safety data collection.
Another important remark is that the technology is an aid to navigate the vessel and you can rely totally on the digital tools and ship’s equipment.
The speakers also mentioned that technology also create new risks and challenges and the complexity and regulators respond too slowly to the implementation of technology.

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