At the upcoming MEPC 62 key agenda items are EEDI and SEEMP. For industry insiders the twists and turns in the debate on EEDI (energy efficiency design index) and SEEMP (ship energy efficiency management plan) is hard enough to follow and you will be eagerly anticipating next week’s outcome. If you are not an industry insider here is a simple guide on the topic prepared by two of my colleagues Dr Zabi Bazari and Paul McStay.

EEDI and SEEMP are the two major instruments that form IMO’s package of technical and operational measures for the reduction of the GHG emissions for shipping. EEDI is a design index addressing the ship’s energy efficiency when built.  As a technical measure, it has been around since 2009 and its implementation has so far been on a voluntary basis, but IMO is voting at MEPC on  whether to or not make the EEDI mandatory under ANNEX VI of the MARPOL Convention.  SEEMP is an operational measure which aims to improve energy efficiency of existing fleet through active energy management and IMO is also voting at MEPC on whether to make this mandatory as well.

So what exactly is the EEDI? In simple words, EEDI is a number accounting for the amount of CO2 generated per tonne-mile of cargo carried. A higher EEDI indicates a less energy efficienct ship (by design). The idea is that future ships will need to be built with a minimum energy efficiency standard, – as defined by the EEDI.  Since the energy efficiency may be linked with CO2 emissions, by setting a maximum permissible EEDI and then gradually reducing it (10% by 2020, 20% by 2025 and 30% after 2025 are some of the proposed reduction steps) IMO is hoping to reduce GHG emissions from shipping..

This maximum permissible EEDI is called the Required EEDI and is derived from the existing fleet and will be a function of the ship type and cargo carrying capacity. The reference lines for the Required EEDI, and, most importantly, the reduction levels are yet to be finalised by the IMO, but, as you can gather so far, they will have an increased significance.

With EEDI being a technical measure targeting at the design of future generations of ships to control GHG emissions, how is IMO planning to control GHG emissions from the existing fleet? The answer (or tool rather) is called the SEEMP. IMO’s intention is that all ships should keep onboard a SEEMP, which is a live document containing a ship-specific plan of actions, targets and responsibilities for managing (and improving) the operational energy efficiency of the ship. Measures that could be included are: voyage optimisation, energy conservation projects and trim optimisation to hull/propeller maintenance schedules and performance monitoring.

But SEEMP is more than just a list of actions: measuring the operational energy efficiency of the ship, setting targets and monitoring the performance against them is also required, and IMO has suggested another tool called the EEOI (Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator) for doing that . EEOI itself is not mandatory and operators can in fact choose other key performance indicators (KPIs – and this is the last acronym for today) which may be more suitable to their ship and operation. However, the target setting and monitoring element is part of the SEEMP, regardless of which tool is being adopted.

In its present form, EEDI is not applicable to all ship types, and initially it is envisaged that it will apply to the following ship types and sizes that are greater than 400 GT:

  • Bulk carrier
  • Gas tanker
  • Tanker
  • Container ship
  • General Cargo ship
  • Refrigerated cargo carrier
  • Combination carrier

For other ship types (such as diesel-electric passenger ships or Ro-Ro) it is expected that some suitable form of the EEDI will be developed in the future.  SEEMP on the other hand will be required for all ships, including MODU, FPSO and FSU.

Will EEDI and SEEMP be adopted at IMO MEPC 62? I t depends who you talk to! But opinions vary from  a definite ‘yes’ to a definite ‘no’ and any options in between – so I shall not try to predict the outcome.

For more on EEDI and SEEMPs take a look at our Shipping and the Environment publications:

Shipping and the environment issue 1

Shipping and the environment issue 2