BWM Convention and 2020 sulphur limits high on the agenda for 2017

Stamatis Bourboulis, General Manager, Euronav, responded to GREEN4SEA questions regarding the key issues that shipping industry will address during next year. Mr Bourboulis considered that alternatives for compliance with the 2020 Sulfur limits along with the effective implementation of the BWM Convention will be top priorities for the industry in 2017.

GREEN4SEA: Do you think there was a significant success and/or progress made with respect to marine environment protection during 2016? Focusing on your area of expertise, what were the most important industry developments within 2016?

Stamatis Bourboulis:  I believe that the Ballast Water Management Convention ratification, the Decision to apply the Global Sulfur Cap of 0.5% on Marine Fuels from 2020 and the entry into force of the NECA zone NOx Tier III requirements were major developments in relation to the Environmental Legislation of IMO. The progress on the EU and IMO MRV Regulations and the first approval of a Ballast Water Treatment System by USCG should be added to the list of important events within the year in relation to the marine environment protection.

G4S: Focusing on your area of expertise, what do you think that it will be the biggest marine environmental challenge(s) for the industry for the 2017?

S.B.: The compliance with the requirements of the Ballast Water Convention which comes into force on the 8th of September 2017 is in my opinion the biggest challenge for 2017. Next to it every ship operator will continue the consideration of what will be the plan for meeting the requirements  of Global Sulfur Cap in 2020.

G4S: What would be the 2017 resolutions for your company/ organization? What are your goals and aspirations to enhance environmental excellence? Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans for 2017 that you would like to share?

S.B.: The environmental excellence should be a regular task (or even a habit) embedded in company’s life. Therefore there are is not a particular reference especially for 2017. We will continue to pursue our environmental objectives as set in our policy for zero oil pollution and our mission to deliver an essential source of energy (the Crude Oil) in ways that are socially and environmentally viable.

G4S:  What is your overall forecast for the marine environmental developments in 2017 and what would you like to share and/or wish and/or ask other industry stakeholders?

S.B.: The possibility of IMO granting an extension to the implementation schedule of the BWM Convention if occurs, will be a decisive development in 2017 which will allow for the BW Treatment systems to be type approved with the new stricter standards prior to the requirement for their installation on board. Furthermore the consideration of the alternatives for compliance with the 2020 Sulfur limits will also be high on the agenda in the marine industry.