Many new ships already exceed IMO’s post-2025 energy efficiency requirement

New ships built from 2013 and forward, has to comply with IMO´s Energy Efficiency Design Index, EEDI, that came in to effect 2011. A study done by the NGO Transport&Environment, T&E, states that many of the new built ships already meets and exceeds the standards that lies years ahead. That implies, according to T&E, that the standards are set to low and that the drivers for research and innovation might be lacking.

The International Maritime Organisation agreed in 2011 on a design standard, known as Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), to apply to new ships built from 2013. The standard has a baseline - the average efficiency of ships built between 1999-2009 - and sets the maximum amount of CO2 permitted per ship type and size in order to carry a unit of transport work (i.e. gCO2/tonne-mile).

Ships built after 2025 is supposed to have a design efficiency, at least, 30% below the reference line. And already today 3/4 of the new ships pass the requirement.

Transport&Environment has made a statistical analysis of the ships in the IMO EEDI database. T&E’s analysis was limited to only those ships having a mandatory EEDI requirement, i.e. 2058 ships in the 5 different class categories.

The result can be seen in the image below, a substantial share of the new build fleet already complies and over-complies with current and future (2025) design efficiency requirements. Notably, 71% of containerships, 69% of general cargo ships, 26% of tankers and 13% of gas carriers already comply with the 2025 EEDI requirement (i.e. -30% reduction compared to reference line). For bulk carriers, however, this share is less than 1%.

What’s even more important, according to T&E, is that that the top 10% of the best ships in each class category are doing far better than the average new ships in the fleet. Notably, the average performance of the best (top 10%) ships is around 58% for containerships, 57% for general cargo ships, 42% for gas carriers, 35% for oil tankers and 27% for bulk carriers relative to the reference line. For this reason, the study recommends that the revision of existing EEDI targets and the setting of future design standards should be based on the performance of the 10% best ships in each segment.

“This new analysis using official IMO data confirms earlier findings presented to the IMO by environmental groups: the energy efficiency standard is not fit for purpose to drive better designs or technological innovation.”, Faig Abbasov, shipping officer at T&E, says in a press release.

In the report T&E also writes: In order to incentivise development and deployment of further energy saving technologies and innovative ship designs, the revision of existing and setting of future design standards should be based on the performance of the 10% best ships in the market.