SECA Today – Challenges of Tomorrow -
SECA Today – Challenges of Tomorrow
Date of publication: 08.03.2016

On 8th March, 2016, the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO) had the pleasure to organize the „SECA Today – Challenges of Tomorrow” session, as a part of the Transport Week 2016 conference, being held at the University of Gdansk.

The session, moderated by Bogdan Ołdakowski, the BPO secretary general, featured three speakers – Poul Woodwall, the Director for Environment and Sustainability at DFDS Seaways, Ioannis Mispinas, the Project Officer for Environmental Protection at EMSA and Staffan Herlin, the Head of Group Marketing and Sales at Finnlines and a short summary of the state of the game for shipowners affected by the SECA regulations, by Monika Rozmarynowska-Mrozek from the Gdynia Maritime Academy.

Ioannis Mispinas was first to take the stage. He talked about the monitoring and implementation of the Sulphur Directive in EU countries and highlighted the role EMSA plays in the whole process.
Ioannis\' presentation was filled to the brim with statistics clearly depicting the efficiency rate of the monitoring instruments in place.

He said, that the Member States will have to step up their game, due to planned increase in sampling and more rational selection of ships, however for now „in the Baltic Sea the Members have intensified their efforts and bettered their numbers.“ Asked about Chinas\' interest in possible SECA areas, Mispinas was unable to provide any official information, as concrete details were not available.

Poul Woodwall spoke about the implementation of MRV and whether it can build upon previous experiences with SECA. He outlined key differences between the two initiatives, among them the varying difficulty in policing and their geographical reach. What followed was an evaluation of the implementation process of the SECA directive and a brief explanation of ins and outs of the MRV regulation. He praised SECA for a fairly smooth „switchover – no real issues, generally it went really well“, and mentioned the contribution of the EU to the whole process - „EU put in some support packages under the Motorways of the Sea and CEF financing“.

Next up was Staffan Harlan, who provided the audience with a view from the side directly affected by the new emission rules – the shipping company. Harlan gave a rundown of environmental requirements for maritime transport and the costs they are associated with. He also showcased Finnlines\' environmental policy.  
He commented on the risks and difficulties surrounding the introduction of SECA - „too many outer factors dominate this business at the moment, we are not in the drivers seat“. When asked, whether some different investment opportunities have been mothballed at cost of the SECA investments, he showed his commitment to the initiative by citing the German saying „wenn schon, denn schon“, meaning that if you\'re going to do something, then do it, regardless of current issues.

Monika Rozmarynowska-Mrozek delivered a short overview of how shipowners are meeting the new regulations and solutions they have chosen to become compliant with the Sulphur Regulation. According to the data provided, MGO is by far the most popular method, with the installation of scrubbers or the switch to alternative fuels such as LNG trailing behind.