NORDEN has worked with limiting operational air emissions for several years and our commitment to curb CO2 emissions is demonstrated in the company’s work to reduce fuel consumption and increase efficiency. NORDEN focuses on developing tools for evaluating fuel efficiency, when deciding which vessels to charter in, on monitoring data from vessels to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency, and on adding new and more efficient technology to existing vessel systems.
Sulphur (SOx) emissions are harmful to human health and the environment, and NORDEN works to reduce emissions from vessels’ exhaust in line with the IMO’s MARPOL regulation. A sulphur cap of 0.1% for sensitive coastal areas, the so-called emission control areas (ECA’s), has been in force since 2015. These areas comprise the Baltic Sea, Iceland, the North Sea, the English Channel, most of the US and Canadian coast and parts of the Caribbean.
From 2020, the sulphur content in marine fuel must be trimmed from 3.5% to 0.5%. This was decided by the IMO during 2016. NORDEN acknowledges the importance of this step for reducing the environmental impact from shipping. However, the added cost of the new cap will be significant and without compliance across the industry, the new regulation will distort competition. Therefore, in 2016 NORDEN joined the Trident Alliance that advocates stronger, global enforcement of SOx regulation with the aim to minimise non-compliance and unfair practices in the industry.
In 2016, the IMO passed a proposal to limit the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from vessels in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea by 75% from vessels built in 2021 and onwards. NOx is known to cause smog and acid rain and the new regulation focuses on reducing NOx emissions from marine diesel engines installed on ships. Going forward, NORDEN will ensure to only operate and take in vessels with engines that live up to the new NOx cap to be able to trade all vessels worldwide.
NORDEN has clear procedures in place to prevent operational spills. However, spills may occur due to reasons such as operational failure or accidents. Therefore, as part of NORDEN’s emergency preparedness, oil pollution prevention drills are regularly carried out both on board and ashore in accordance with NORDEN’s safety management system.
While ballast water is essential to ensure safe and stable vessels at sea, it can also pose a risk to ecosystems due to the invasive species that can be transported and discharged from ballast water tanks into local waters. In 2016, IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) was ratified and the convention comes into force in 2017. In the meantime, the USA has implemented its own regulation, and has to date only granted type approval to a handful of treatment systems. Until more systems are approved, shipping companies run the risk of installing systems that might not be approved for usage in US waters. To be able to trade worldwide, all NORDEN vessels will be fitted with systems that are approved by both USCG and IMO going forward.