S-Keeper 7™ is a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System CEMS Type Approved for marine application fully engineered, integrated and validated in accordance with applicable Directives.

What about the Main Players regulating Marine Emissions e.g. from ships or also from off-shore units?

The most important player is definitely the IMO International Maritime Organization. The IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, This Organization focuses only on the Marine market and is responsible for the mitigation or better still prevention of pollution produced by ships. It is an impartial organization without any commercial purpose.

The Organization consists of an Assembly, a Council and five main Committees; for example, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is empowered to consider any matter within the scope of the Organization concerned with prevention and control of pollution from ships. In particular it is concerned with the adoption and amendment of conventions and other regulations and measures to ensure their enforcement.

What about the Directives in force regarding pollution? Who is responsible for writing them?

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO and it includes regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing pollution from ships – both accidental pollution and that from routine operations – and currently includes six technical Annexes, among them:

Annex I Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil (entered into force 2 October 1983); this covers prevention of pollution by oil from operational measures as well as from accidental discharges.

Annex VI Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (entered into force 19 May 2005); this sets limits on Sulphur Oxide SO2 and Nitrogen Oxide NOx emissions from ship exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS).

In July 2005, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed to revise MARPOL Annex VI with the aim of significantly strengthening the emission limits in light of technological improvements and implementation experience. As a result of three years examination, MEPC 58 (October 2008) adopted the revised MARPOL Annex VI and the associated NOx Technical Code 2008, which entered into force on 1 July 2010 together with introduction of emission control areas (ECAs),

Revised Marpol Annex VI at a glance: deadlines, parameters, limits & areas

Any ship constructed on or after 1st January 2000 is required to comply with “Tier INOx emissions from marine diesel engines, if an approved method for that engine has been certified by an Administration.

Any ship constructed on or after 1st January 2011 is required to comply with “Tier IINOx emissions from marine diesel engines.

As from January 1st 2015 the limits for SOx and particulate matter is reduced to 0.10%, applicable in ECAs.

Any constructed ship on or after January 1st 2016 is required to comply with “Tier III” NOx emissions from marine diesel engines installed on vessels operating in North American and US Caribbean Sea ECA-NOx areas (ECAs Emission Control Areas) or at least to comply with “Tier II” if they always operate outside ECAs.

Any constructed ship on or after January 1st 2021 is required to comply with “Tier III” NOx emissions from marine diesel engines installed on vessels operating in Baltic Sea Emission Control
Area or the North Sea Emission Control Area or at least to comply with “Tier II” if they always operate outside ECAs.

As from January 1st 2020 the Global Sulphur Cap is reduced from 3.50% to 0.50%, regardless of ECA.

Revised Marpol Annex VI at a glance: Regulations

Among the 18 Regulations listed in Annex VI, at least 3 should be read and understood:

Regulation 4Equivalents: this allows the ShipOwner to fit on the ship fitting, material, appliance, apparatus, fuel oils, or compliance methods alternative to that required by Annex VI itself if they are at least as effective in terms of emissions reductions as that required by this Annex, including any of the standards set forth in regulations 13 and 14.

Regulation 13 – Nitrogen Oxides (NOx): this clarifies for example the size of the marine diesel engine (> 130 kW) governed by this regulation, the consequences of a conversion, modification or replacement of any engine after January 1st 2010 and when this regulation is not applicable.

Regulation 14 – Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and Particulate Matter: this clarifies the maximum content of Sulphur in fuel oil, and lists the Emission Control Areas ECAs together with specific parameters to be monitored, with an added note about fuel oil change-over and how to comply. Moreover the meaning of primary (in which the formation of the pollutant is avoided) & secondary (in which the pollutant is formed but subsequently removed to some degree prior to discharge of the exhaust gas stream to the atmosphere) method is explained.

Revised NOx Technical Code 2008

It includes a new chapter based on the agreed approach for regulation of existing (pre-2000) engines established in Marpol Annex VI, provisions for a direct measurement and monitoring method, a certification procedure for existing engines and test cycles to be applied to Tier II and Tier III engines. In other words the purpose of this Code is to provide mandatory procedures for the testing, survey and certification of marine diesel engines which will enable engine manufacturers, shipowners and Administrations to ensure that all applicable marine diesel engines comply with the relevant limiting emission values of NOx as specified within regulation 13 of Annex VI.