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Marine Log

June 2, 2008

ABS funds study at National Technical University of Athens

ABS is to fund a three year research program at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). It will study the impact of environmental protection on marine transportation, including shipbuilding.

The aim is to develop tools that designers, shipowners and others can use to to identify and select effective, environmentally positive policies and procedures.

The research will focus on two principal areas: environmental risk evaluation criteria and ship emissions and energy savings.

"With the increasing demands for greener shipping, there is a need for criteria that can capture the environmental dimensions of the risk associated with a given ship design or with the measures adopted to mitigate the risk," explained ABS Senior Vice President of Technology Peter Tang-Jensen.

"The results of these studies could also prove valuable for assessing the environmental impact of future proposed regulations and rules, including those based on goal based standards (GBS), for the major ship types," he added.

The research program is expected to assess current approaches to evaluating the risks associated with a given design and will attempt to identify solutions and methodologies that take the environmental dimension into account. Already this topic is being debated within IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

The second element of the study will examine the challenge of reducing ship air emissions while promoting operational efficiencies. NTUA has been given the job of developing rational, realistic and effective proposals that address the need to further reduce emissions.

Tang-Jensen says the analysis will look at the emissions generated by a vessel from construction through service to scrapping. Comparisons with other modes of transportation will be made and specific scenarios will be reviewed for different ship types, sizes, trading patterns and fuel type.

This research will be carried out by the Laboratory for Maritime Transport (LMT) at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME) at NTUA. The study will be led by Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Professor, NTUA, under the study name "Assessment of Environmental Impact In Marine Transportation and Related Activities."

The study will marry practical industry data and information with academic research.

"We are pleased to have one of the world's leading classification societies underwrite this research," said Psaraftis. "What is special about this study is that it will draw upon industry input as we have proposed establishing a steering committee of six individuals representing not only the University and ABS but also leading ship management companies."

Tang-Jensen says the study is scheduled to begin in June and will deliver interim technical reports at successive stages of the project. "Any and all research into marine environmental issues is of value to the industry at the present time," Tang-Jensen noted. "But this project has also been tasked with specific deliverables, including a proposed framework for environmental risk evaluation criteria and specific practical and policy recommendations that address reductions in ship emissions.

"Our clients are looking to ABS to take the lead in helping them become good environmental and regulatory compliant citizens," said Tang-Jensen. "This is another step towards fulfilling those expectations."

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