(Source: ABS Press Release -

A three year research program is to be funded by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and undertaken by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) that will study the impact of environmental protection on marine transportation, including shipbuilding. The intent is to develop tools that can be used by designers, shipowners and other stakeholders to identify and select effective, environmentally positive policies and procedures. 

The research will focus on two principal areas: environmental risk evaluation criteria and ship emissions and energy savings.

“With the increasing demands for greener shipping, there is a need for criteria that can capture the environmental dimensions of the risk associated with a given ship design or with the measures adopted to mitigate the risk,” explained ABS Senior Vice President of Technology Peter Tang-Jensen.

He noted the current fluid regulatory situation with respect to the adoption and implementation of more strict environmental standards at the IMO and in regional legislative bodies. “The results of these studies could also prove valuable for assessing the environmental impact of future proposed regulations and rules, including those based on goal based standards (GBS), for the major ship types,” he added. 

The research program is expected to assess current approaches to evaluating the risks associated with a given design and will attempt to identify solutions and methodologies that take the environmental dimension into account. Already this topic is being debated within IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

The second element of the study will examine the complex challenge of reducing ship air emissions while promoting operational efficiencies. NTUA has been tasked with developing rational, realistic and effective proposals that address the need to further reduce emissions. Tang-Jensen says the analysis will take a cradle-to-grave approach, considering the emissions generated by a vessel from construction through service to scrapping. Comparisons with other modes of transportation will be made and specific scenarios will be reviewed for different ship types, sizes, trading patterns and fuel type. 

This research will be carried out by the Laboratory for Maritime Transport (LMT) at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME) at NTUA. The study will be led by Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Professor, NTUA, under the study name “Assessment of Environmental Impact In Marine Transportation and Related Activities.”  The study will marry practical industry data and information with academic research.                 (Click here for full text)

[back to top]