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Scandinavian owners strongly represented as Trident Alliance formally launched

Scandinavian owners strongly represented as Trident Alliance formally launched
The Trident Alliance, an industry body formed to lobby port state control authorities for tougher enforcement of the January 2015 sulphur regulations, has been formally launched with 11 members named.  

Members include Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), Maersk, American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC), EUKOR Car Carriers, Höegh Autoliners, J. Lauritzen, Rickmers-Linie, Stena, Torvald Klaveness, UECC and Unifeeder.

The group will call for “robust enforcement” of the sulphur regulations, which have recently provoked fear of unfairness and uncompetitiveness throughout the industry. In a group statement, WWL Environment vp and Trident Alliance chairman Roger Strevens (pictured) called consistent enforcement “a business imperative”.

Speaking to Seatrade, Strevens said: “Trident Alliance believes that how the authorities enforce is their prerogative, our interest lies in whether their approach is effective. In addition to highlighting the problem, Trident Alliance would like to participate in the search for solutions. 

“We believe that innovation can make enforcement faster, cheaper and increase its range.  As such we may take a role in the proving of technologies that show the potential to make a positive contribution to these objectives.”

The Alliance will pursue various solutions to level the playing field between different EU countries, depending on nations’ individual sulphur-policing capabilities. Asked how the Trident Alliance would suggest testing, Strevens responded: “The simplest test is to ‘feel the pipes’ [fuel lines]. If they are hot (120-140C), then most likely the engine is running on HFO.

“The nightmare scenario… is that the shipowner buys fuel in good faith only to have an inspector find that it is (marginally) above the allowable limit and therefore leave them subject to a penalty.”

Trident Alliance distinguishes between “deliberate” and “inadvertent” non-compliance therefore, Strevens explained. “In practice this boils down is the difference between operating on HFO [average SOx 2.7%, $600 per tonne] and MGO [averaging 0.09%, $900 per tonne].

“Vessels which are found just above the 0.1% limit will have been most unfortunate; there is no business benefit in being at that level. As such, efforts to penalise non-compliance should be focussed on the gross non-compliance (HFO) cases.

“This would also better serve the public interest because the environmental and health differences between 0.1% and 0.107% SOx fuel are negligible, which is not what can be said for the difference between 0.1% and 2.7% fuel.”