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Hot topics of environment regs, SMART shipping and alternative fuels get experts talking

Martin Stopford
Shipping might have been excluded from COP21, but is under no less pressure to cut harmful emissions. The IMO NOx Tier III requirement entered into force this year, while the global 0.5% sulphur cap could enter force as early as 2020.

In the North Sea ECA, sales of low-sulphur fuels are on the rise. Ports, meanwhile, are cleaning up their act through electrification, and this could extend to some vessels as shore power gradually gains traction.

These topics are the subject of discussion at the opening session of this year's gmec conference taking place in Hamburg on September 6, and organised by SMM in co-operation with Seatrade.

Moderated by Tom Boardley, executive vice president, Lloyd’s Register, the Environmental shipping regulations: current and future developments, and challenges panel discussion sees a strong line up of speakers with a keynote by Arsenio A. Dominguez, chairman, IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Panama to the IMO

To start the discussion flowing, Boardley is addressing the issue of different compliance options and the practical challenges of implementing them on board ships whilst David Dingle, ceo, Carnival UK will touch on practicalities and challenges of operating cruise ships whilst complying with emission regulations. Niels Bjorn Mortensen, director regulatory affairs for Maersk takes centre stage asking if the global cap and level playing field are compatible? Meanwhile Guido Harling, lead-verifier & managing director ETS Verification GmbH looks at Shipping ETS from the verifier’s perspective and asks: “what to expect and how to prepare for MRV”.

No discussion on shipping these days can skip the subject of big data and here is where gmec focusses on in the late morning session when moderator Dr. Martin Stopford, president, Clarkson Research Services Ltd reviews how is Big Data Changing the shipping industry and what are the potential pitfalls? Unmanned ships, another hot topic, follows as Oskar Levander, vice-president Innovation, Rolls-Royce Marine asks: Can unmanned ships become a reality and what is the timeline?

The speaker lineup is completed by Ronald Spithout, president, Inmarsat Maritime discussing how technology is driving operational efficiencies onboard and ashore and Kirsi Tikka, executive vice president global marine, ABS who will cover how SMART technologies are impacting the services provided by, and research conducted by class?

All of these heavy hitters will join a panel discussion on Big Data and the Internet of Things which is on everyone’s lips as the maritime industry is moving into the era of “smart shipping” thanks to advances in sensor technology, fast broadband access at sea and data analysis techniques.

The final panel discussion looks at green propulsion and asks - Is LNG the answer? what are other options? Alternatives like methanol, once-considered niche, are moving to the fore, while interest in renewables and batteries grows. Will cleaner bunkering remain a one-horse-race, or are we headed for a multi-fuel future?

Gavin Allwright, secretary of the International Windship Association (IWSA) will provide an update on wind power and its potential for helping shipping become even greener, Erik Lewenhaupt, head of sustainability, Stena Line provides insight on running ships on alternative fuels and the pros and cons?

Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, ceo Maritime, DNV GL asks what are the barriers to the accelerated update of LNG as fuel for powering ships while Iain White, global marketing manager, ExxonMobil Marine addresses whether cleaner bunkering will stay a one-horse-race or are we headed for a multi-fuel future? Christine Valentin, coo, World Ocean Council rounds off this session looking at the role of green propulsion (alternative fuels) in sustaining the world’s oceans.

Early bird registration closes on July 15 so click here to make sure you book your place.