Focus on Bunker Suppliers, Drone Surveillance Tech Part of Denmark's 2016 Action Plan for ECA Enforcement

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday January 6, 2016

A focus on bunker suppliers to help further "self-regulation" of the industry, along with drone surveillance and other so-called "sniffer" technologies, are all part of Denmark's 2016 plans for Emissions Control Area (ECA) enforcement, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in its 2016 Action Plan released Tuesday.

In addition, Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the DMA, said that: "With the new plan for 2016, we want to extend the cooperation between the Danish authorities and to further strengthen our international cooperation – also in relation to the global sulfur limits of the future."

As part of its "focus on fuel suppliers," Denmark says it will will circulate information to all Danish bunker suppliers to "stress their obligations when supplying fuels."

"In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency will have special focus on Danish suppliers about whom "notes of protest" are received from ships on a too high sulphur content.

"Finally, strategic work must be made so that the industry uses market mechanisms – as a supplement to the efforts made by the authorities – to further "self-regulation" of the bunkers industry."

Surveillance & Sniffers

The so-called "sniffer" technology - which tests air quality to identify potential regulation violations - is already being used by a number of countries, and the Danish authorities noted that last year it received such data collected from ships in the Great Belt.

"Until now, surveillance has shown that only very few ships violate the regulations. This is positive. But, there is still a need for efficient control and enforcement in both Denmark and the other SECA countries," said Michel Schilling, Vice Director of the EPA.

"The strengthened efforts make it possible for us to ensure a level playing field for law-abiding shipowners, while reducing harmful ship pollution."

It was noted that several ECA countries are also experimenting with the use of drones for enforcement surveillance.

"It is expected that the Environmental Protection Agency will – together with the Netherland authorities – take part in a Horizon 2020 project where a Danish company further develops its technology for the surveillance of ships' SOx and NOx emissions by means of low-cost sensors placed in drones and helicopters," the Action Plan says.

"Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Danish Maritime Authority are striving to ensure that the future amendments of the national and EU regulations on drone operation support drone surveillance of ships."

In November Ship & Bunker reported that the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) say that a study conducted by the two organisations to explore the feasibility of the use of drones for emissions monitoring in European ECAs will see test flights leave out of Hamburg, Germany this July.