IMO Sees MARPOL Annex VI Wording Complicating Use of Biofuel Bunkers

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday April 14, 2021

Changes to the International Maritime Organization's MARPOL Annex VI rules on bunker emissions may be needed to allow wider use of biofuels in shipping, according to the UN body's head of air pollution and energy efficiency.

At IBIA's Bunkering & Shipping in Transition conference on Monday, industry veteran Nigel Draffin noted that the higher nitrogen emissions of biofuels compared with conventional bunkers may be in conflict with regulation 18 of MARPOL Annex VI. 

Asked about this problem, Roel Hoenders, head of air pollution and energy efficiency at the IMO, said further work would need to be done on it.

Video recordings of the conference are publicly available on IBIA's YouTube channel.

"What I do know is that this is an issue," Hoenders said.

"I'm aware that member states, or at least some of the member states, are faced with this issue in promoting biofuels as an alternative.

"Biofuels are very likely going to be part of the fuel mix by 2030.

"We actually expect to see some submissions on this very specific issue, coming already to MEPC 76.

"It will definitely be a topic that needs to be followed up in the coming sessions and where further work is required."

The 76th meeting of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) will be held in June.