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Greek shipowners could face €1bn EU ETS costs

Minerva Marine Minerva-Marine.jpg
OceanScore estimates that Greek owners face a €335m ($364m) EU ETS bill in 2024, which may rise to €1bn a year once the ETS is fully implemented.

Maritime data analytics firm OceanScore estimates that 2,135 Greek owned and operated vessels from around 400 companies will need to surrender allowances for 2024 voyages by the deadline in September 2025.

Using 2022 voyage data, OceanScore expects that Greek owners will be required to surrender 11.96m EUAs for voyages to and from the EU/EEA. The current EUA price of around €70 and 40% liability level gives costs of €335m for Greek shipping.

As EU ETS phases in, costs on the same basis increase to €586m in 2025 at 70% exposure, and €837m with full implementation in 2026. A moderate increase in the EUA price could take this figure to over €1bn, said OceanScore.

The cost per vessel once EU ETS is fully implemented reaches €400,000, although costs will be reduced for ships with lower GHG emissions.

“Nonetheless, this will amount to significant additional liabilities related to emissions for many Greek shipping players that are active across most segments, predominantly the tanker and bulk trades, and will necessitate measures to mitigate their financial risk and limit exposure to the EU ETS,” said OceanScore’s co-managing director Ralf Garrn.

Of the 2,135 vessels in the Greek fleet, over 500 are owned by the 10 largest companies including Eastern Mediterranean, Minerva Marine, TMS Group and Thenamaris Ships Management.

For a typical Greek owner with 50 vessels, emissions liabilities of €18.5m will arise at full implementation from purchasing 265,000 EUAs at the current market rate. Many companies are still taking a wait-and-see approach to EU ETS, said Garrn.

OceanScore said over 70 of its clients were using web-based digital tool ETS Manager automates various processes in EUA allocation and collection, with integrated EUA trading.

“It is essential for Greek shipowners to finalise charter parties that incorporate EU ETS clauses to properly assign accountability for voyage EUA costs between themselves and the charterer so they can accurately determine their financial risk,” Garrn said.

“Commercial contracts need to be in place because, otherwise, the shipowner as the Document of Compliance holder can be left with having to bear the burden of EUA liabilities and possibly resorting to litigation against the charterer to recover emissions costs that are owed. But costs liability may be difficult to prove in a legal case long after the voyage has been completed.”

This makes it important for shipping companies to have accurate real-time emissions data communicated from ship to shore for verification to support correct allocation of EUA costs among voyage stakeholders, also taking into account off-hires, Garrn said.

By putting processes and systems in place, owners can minimise financial risk and determine accountability under EU ETS. Data validation with an accredited verifier is incorporated in ETS Manager, enabling transparent processes between owners, managers and charterers to manage EUAs and maintain control of EU ETS costs and related risks.

Looking ahead, proper data management will also be a vital prerequisite to tackle the upcoming FuelEU Maritime to be implemented from 2025. OceanScore is preparing to launch later this year its new digital solution FuelEU Planner to facilitate compliance with this complex regulation.

TAGS: Europe