MEPC 80 takes bold steps in the right direction

In July the IMO’s 80th meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) convened in London to discuss all matters concerning the prevention and control of carbon emissions from vessels.

The meeting marked a major turning point for shipping’s governing body with the unanimous adoption of the 2023 IMO Greenhouse Gas (GHG) strategy, which included agreeing to reach net zero by or around 2050 and a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

Secretary General Kitack Lim said, “The adoption of the 2023 IMO GHG Strategy is a monumental development for [the] IMO and opens a new chapter towards maritime decarbonization. At the same time, it is not the end goal, it is in many ways a starting point for the work that needs to intensify even more over the years and decades ahead of us. However, with the Revised Strategy that you have now agreed on, we have a clear direction, a common vision, and ambitious targets to guide us to deliver what the world expects from us.”

This was a bold step, albeit one in the right direction.

Meeting this ambitious target will require innovation and ingenuity. Crucially, as the MEPC meeting noted, it will require a major uptake of alternative zero and near-zero GHG emission technologies, fuels and/or energy sources by shipping companies worldwide. It will be these types of technologies that will enhance the energy efficiency of vessels and reduce their overall carbon intensity.

Wind-assisted propulsion, including Rotor Sails, were spotlighted as one such innovation that could drive the efficiency of vessels and reduce resulting emissions. As a result, demand for such technologies has increased in recent months.

In May, Anemoi announced that we were looking to ramp up production capacity to be able to install up to 50 Rotor Sails per year in anticipation of renewed demand. As Chief Executive Kim Diederichsen told Tradewinds at the time, “Wind propulsion and Rotor Sails have found their place” from kamsarmax bulkers to VLCCS and from newbuildings to retrofitting. “Compliance and the pressure to go green are driving the uptake of Anemoi’s Rotor Sail technologies, which are a visible decarbonisation technology,” he added.

MEPC 80 also looked for potential synergies of net-zero technologies with existing regulations and measures such as the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). All these regulations look to optimise the fuel consumption of new and existing vessels. Once again, Rotor Sails positively impact the EEDI score of a newbuild vessel and can provide a route to compliance with upcoming 2025 Phase 3 regulations, as well as improve potential operational indicators for retrofit installations.

Crucially, however, the IMO plans to revise its CII regulation. Regulation 28.11 of MARPOL Annex VI specifies that the CII revision, a review of regulations and associated guidelines shall be completed by 1 January 2026, including an assessment of the need for reinforced corrective actions or other means of remedy and the need for enhancement of the data collection system.

This review process could well impact vessels and ship owners that are late adopters of low or net-zero technologies that can enhance their carbon emissions, such as Rotor Sails. It would that now is the time for ship owners and managers to look forward and ensure their fleets can keep operating in a maritime environment that is striving for net zero.

Anemoi is proud to offer its award-winning Rotor Sail technology to all types and sizes of vessels that are on their own decarbonization journey, offering a cost-effective, tailored system that can reduce fuel consumption and resulting GHG emissions.