Is extending ship life bad for the environment?

Is extending ship life bad for the environment?

According to data, the maritime industry emits nearly 940 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, accounting for nearly 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions.


The IMO’s new regulations aim to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from ship operations by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels and reduce the carbon intensity of all ships by 40% by 2030.


All of this raises an interesting question about the choice of ships of a particular age. An engine manufacturer has warned that if no action is taken, more than 80% of bulk carriers and container ships will be classified in the lowest C, D and E CII categories by 2030, undermining their commercial viability.


Is scrapping the only commercially viable option for antique assets that are in conflict with the new regulations? From a holistic perspective, looking at the full life cycle assessment of ships, is there a reason to extend the life of older ships, rather than decommission them Throw it in the trash?


If the purpose of EEXI and CII is to save the environment, phasing out antique assets could inadvertently backfire and lead to greater environmental damage. The analysis clearly shows that, considering the transportation and handling of the raw materials used in steel production, new buildings have a significant responsibility for energy consumption/greenhouse gas emissions.


In the academic paper assessing the environmental impact of ships from a life cycle perspective, the co-authors stated: “A life cycle assessment (LCA) of the construction, operation and recovery of a Panamax tanker was studied and estimated the impact on human health (climate change) and ecosystem quality.


The results show that shipbuilding has a 40% impact on CO2 emissions, while the steel production process alone is responsible for nearly 90% of CO2 emissions within the scope of shipbuilding.


There are three easy ways to make shipping more circular. The first is to reduce consumption, which ensures better use of resources. The second is better consumption. The third is to create systemic change.


Clearly, the commercial viability of retrofitting expensive, energy-efficient equipment on older ships remains in question. Evidence suggests that repairing and extending the life of a (medium, older) boat is more environmentally friendly than building a new one.


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