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HANSA 10-2017

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping »The future looks bright for the ferry industry« The global ferry fleet is much smaller than the »normal« merchant fleet. However, it has huge relevance for a big number of countries and regions. Mike Corrigan, CEO of industry association Interferry, talks to HANSA about regulatory hurdles and implications as well as the future of the segment What are the »hot topics« for Interferry in these times? Mike Corrigan: On the safety front, Interferry recently established a Safety Committee whose mandate is to determine the most effective way of establishing and sharing best practices in safety with ferry operators around the world, but particularly those in developing countries. Ferry operators in geographies that have strong safety regulations in place have much to offer and share with operators in geographies that don’t yet share these standards. What is your opinion on the recently agreed »postponement« of the ballast water treatment deadlines for two years? Corrigan: In co-operation with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and a number of Flag States, we reached the end of decade-long deliberations on requirements for Ballast Water Management. For the global fleet of ships, a concern shared widely by the industry was how 50,000+ ships would be able to fit Ballast Water Treatment equipment on the day the requirements went into force. Interferry was pleased that the IMO resolved this issue through a staggering process related to a ship’s dry docking schedule. This has the effect of adding more years of compliance time, a move that Interferry’s members support. Do you expect stricter environmental rules in general? Corrigan: Interferry believes that environmental regulations will continue to become more stringent, and thinks its role is, in part, to ensure there is a balanced approach. For example, for the past eight years, Interferry has worked with the IMO to develop a fit-for-purpose regulation on energy effciency requirements for new ships. Called the Energy Effciency Design Index (EEDI), a new design must be more effcient than the average of old designs. This has proven a challenge for passenger, RoPax and RoRo cargo segments, primarily because of the diffculty in determining what is an average ferry. So how to go on? Corrigan: It’s not that Interferry members don’t think energy effciency is important. It’s that they need regulations to be practicable and reasona- Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan Photo: Interferry 36 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 154. Jahrgang – 2017 – Nr. 10

Schifffahrt | Shipping ble to implement. Along with important Flag States and other industry associations we developed the technical evidence to underpin a change to the requirements. The result: IMO changed the EEDI requirements by 20% and introduced an upper size DWT threshold. What do you think will be used primarily in the future of the ferry fleet: LNG or battery systems? Or other power sources? Corrigan: At our upcoming conference in Split in October, members and attendees will learn what the future of the ferry industry may look like. They’ll hear more about electrification – the next game changer in the ferry industry. They will also learn about LNG as a transition fuel away from more carbon-intensive forms of energy, to more environmentally- friendly sources. Batteries are seen by the industry to be the wave of the future, once its been proven they can operate successfully on large vessels with longer routes. How could ship sizes and ship designs develope in the coming years? Some experts argue that the ferry fleet is quite old and therefore the demand of new buildings will grow. Corrigan: We are pleased that the overall ferry market is continuing to grow, and believes that given vehicle congestion on land, this growth will continue. Couple this with owners having more certainty with regards to Damage Stability and EEDI regulations, and there should be strong growth in new vessel construction for RoRo vessels. Also, there are a number of new passenger-only ferry business start-ups as a result of the growing tourism economy. The future looks bright for ferry operators and the industry, and Interferry looks forward to playing a role in advocating for the industry to become stronger together, and share best practices with members around the world. What do you think should be taken into account more intensively by the political and regulatory bodies? Corrigan: Interferry has been intervening with regulators to ensure that regulations under development take into consideration all aspects of the shipping industry in general, and the ferry industry specifically. We are fortunate to have consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Compared to the shipping industry, the size of the ferry industry is small. As a result, being a member of a trade association like Interferry makes the industry stronger together than any member could possibly be on its own. In Europe, for example, only 3% of public funding is allocated to the ferry industry versus other modes of transportation. A strong and unified voice has the opportunity to change this. Interview: Michael Meyer Interferry and IMO 2017 Recently, Interferry worked with the IMO on a range of files. However, three files particularly impact on members. Besides the topic of EEDI these are Damage Stability and Ballast Water Management, as Interferry published in summer. Damage Stability: Damage stability refers to a ferry’s ability to endure a collision and survive long enough for the ship to be evacuated in an orderly fashion. From Interferry’s point of view, the research has focused much more on requiring the »unsinkable ship«, than preventing a collision from occurring in the first place. After years of debate, in June 2017, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee adopted new damage stability requirements for passenger ships. »The new regulations may be challenging to meet, especially for ferries with long lower holds«, the association said. It teamed up with Japan and other countries to ensure that the technical guidelines could indeed be achieved, especially for the smaller end of the ferry segment. »We managed to overturn a previously agreed level of »unsinkability« to end up with requirements we believe to be reasonable for ships carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers. For the larger ships, and in the aftermath of the sinking of the cruise ship »Costa Concordia«, the EU was adamant in introducing regulations that more steel/subdivision is required going forward. Ballast Water: Interferry believed that the spread of invasive species should be prevented, but the issue is intercontinental rather than regional. »Requesting a 20nm ferry to kill off all organisms in the ballast water it lifts in Port A, and discharges in Port B, didn’t make sense for our industry«, it was said. If a ferry always operates in the same water, Interferry argued that it should not be accountable for the spread of foreign species. Interferry was »pleased« that the IMO resolved this issue through a staggering process related to the ships’ dry docking schedule. MEPC71 added two more years of compliance time, extending the previous September 2017 enforcement timeline to September 2019. Interferry successfully participated in and negotiated three situations our members would find challenging related to Ballast Water Exchange. According to the association, since spread of invasive species is predominantly an intercontinental issue, provisions are in place for short sea ship to be exempted from the requirements to fit treatment systems. »These exemptions, however, are onerous and call for the operator to conduct biological surveys and risk assessments. Together with Denmark and Singapore, Interferry successfully argued for the IMO to introduce an alternative approach, where it is not a specific ship that is exempted, but a geographical area, such as the common waters between Singapore and Indonesia. The legal provision is now in place, waiting for operators to engage with their Port States to designate these »Same Risk Areas.« M Interferry was originally formed in the USA in1976 as the International Marine Transit Association. Since then it has changed its name and has become a association representing the ferry industry world-wide. There are currently over 200 members from 35 countries. The membership includes all types of ferry operations: RoPax, RoRo, Cruise Ferries, Fast Ferries, Passenger-only Ferries, big and small ferries. The membership also includes suppliers such as: shipbuilders and designers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, naval architects and marine engineers, ship brokers and consultants, classification societies, publishers as well as specialists in information technology, finance, insurance, crewing, training, etc. The association sees its primary roles »to facilitate networking and communications within the ferry industry and to represent it on regulatory matters.« It has consultative status at IMO. HANSA International Maritime Journal – 154. Jahrgang – 2017 – Nr. 10 37

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