CIMAC Presidents Strive for Continuity and Communication
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It is a feature of CIMAC that each Congress takes place under the auspices of the retiring President, with the new President taking office directly after the triennial event. However, in a typically sensible arrangement, the retiring President’s experience is not lost, since he goes on to serve for another three years as the Past President and is able to support his successor and ensure continuity. In this conversation, Christoph Teetz and Klaus Heim, respectively retiring CIMAC President and CIMAC President elect, discuss the achievements of the past three years and plans for the next.
Teetz _ At the beginning of my term I noted that finding the right balance between environmental protection and engine system operating economy would become ever more important, and in this I was anticipating the planned introduction of both IMO Tier III and the Energy Efficiency Design Index during my tenure. As emissions are ubiquitous and caused by engines in all applications and with dialogue already well established and ongoing with the World Bank, IMO, UIC and national/regional authorities, it was logical for CIMAC to seek to make a contribution in other areas impacted by emissions. We were delighted that the Chinese National Members Association eagerly supported the founding of WG 19 Inland Waterways and have taken a leading role. WG19 has already met in China and in Europe to establish a basis and collect inputs from stakeholders. It is already regarded as a key partner for the Chinese authorities on emissions legislation for China’s river and canal system.
Heim _ Yes, this is an area where it is clearly important to ensure that modern large engine technology is shared and where CIMAC is ideally placed. Our members can continue to apply the experience they have gained as a longstanding interface to legislators. With over 180,000 vessels involved in inland and coastal shipping in China, the potential for both local and global environmental improvement is clear and it is fitting that the Chinese authorities are cooperating with a truly international body having immense technical stature like CIMAC.
Teetz _ On the other hand the major effect of the first IMO Tier III ECA and the EEDI is that for the first time the whole shipping industry is working under legal constraints affecting both noxious and greenhouse gas emissions. This underlines the challenge of reducing NOx emissions not merely without fuel consumption penalties but against a new background where, under the EEDI, overall vessel efficiency is expected to increase substantially - by 30 % over 10 years. Since, it is impossible that this high figure can be achieved on the engines alone, CIMAC founded Working Group 20 System Integration and we are well on the way to establishing WG20 as the CIMAC interface to other stakeholders and to continue to develop the working relationships we now need to reach this demanding goal.
Heim _ Due to groundwork during your tenure as President and to CIMAC’s long-standing status as the leading forum for both makers and users of large engines, we have an excellent point of departure to intensify these contacts and to enter new areas of collaboration. Importantly, while the engine industry is now clearly under an obligation regarding the EEDI, the focus of the regulation is the ship as an overall transport system, and our ship owner and operator membership is invaluable in this respect.
Teetz _ Fortunately, also, the new focus on total systems and system integration takes place at a time when CIMAC has grown as an organisation. Thus one essential task of the President, Past President and Board will be to consolidate this expansion while also adapting the structure of CIMAC to its new challenges, ensuring of course, that we continue to offer members real added value from their involvement.
Heim _ With this process started and progressing, I feel it is time to become more assertive. I am thus proposing that our work to reduce emissions should be accompanied by opinion forming communications to improve the reputation of the shipping industry in the public eye.
The incremental nature of IMO emissions regulations means that while smokeless exhausts can be taken for granted on new engines, people still see vessels in harbours making black smoke and they read about the harmful effects of burning heavy fuel.
In addition, the postponement of IMO Tier III, especially the delay in limiting sulphur in heavy fuel has created doubt. We need to employ PR to counteract the image of an industry which is dragging its feet in getting its engines clean when, on the contrary, our efforts have made ships far more environmentally-friendly and will continue to do so.
Our industry meets at forums like the CIMAC Congress and Circles, conferences, seminars, symposia and trade fairs, and there we share our successes among ourselves and with the trade press. What CIMAC must now do is to get the message out beyond our industry and our customers to the general public.
Changing the public perception of what we are doing to make engines cleaner is a vital matter for all CIMAC members — both makers and users — and we should take every chance to pursue it.