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The Shipping Tribune

FuelEU vote: European shipowners recognise progress but more is needed for clean fuel uptake


The European Parliament adopted today its position on the FuelEU Maritime Regulation ahead of the negotiations with the Council. European shipowners welcome the progress made on the proposal, but stress that more needs to be done to facilitate the energy transition and the decarbonisation of the industry.

Fostering the production and uptake of low- and zero-carbon fuels is a key step towards the decarbonisation of the shipping sector. To meet this goal, we need not only to boost demand for clean fuels from shipping, but at the same time to recognise the responsibilities of fuel suppliers to make clean fuels available in sufficient quantities. It is also key to earmark the revenues for bringing the price gap with clean fuels, for R&D and innovation as well as for port infrastructure, upskilling and reskilling. European shipowners therefore welcome the earmarking of the FuelEU revenues to the maritime sector under the EU ETS Ocean Fund.

ECSA recognises that today’s vote is a step in the right direction as it introduces the notion of supplier responsibility when contractual arrangements are in place between a fuel supplier and a shipping company. However, more needs to be done to make sure that sufficient quantities of clean fuels are made available by fuel suppliers in European ports.

“Ensuring access to affordable clean fuels is a major challenge for the decarbonisation of shipping. Clean fuels currently sit on the most expensive side of the spectrum and therefore action is needed to bridge the price gap. In order to meet the targets of the FuelEU, the earmarking of the ETS and FuelEU revenues back to the sector becomes even more essential. This, together with ensuring fuel suppliers are responsible for making clean fuels available, is critical to ensure that shipping can deliver on its decarbonisation objectives” said ECSA’s Secretary General Sotiris Raptis.

The Parliament also takes a more pragmatic approach on Onshore Power Supply deleting penalties on ships when the infrastructure is not available in port. ECSA also welcomes the introduction of special conditions for ice-class vessels as well as for islands and outermost regions.

ECSA supports the new monitoring requirements to ensure the availability of clean fuels in the market. The Commission will have to continuously monitor the quantity of low- and zero-carbon fuels made available to shipping companies in the EU. If the supply of those fuels fails to meet the demand from shipping companies, the Commission should propose measures to ensure that maritime fuel suppliers in the EU make available adequate volumes of alternative fuels to shipping companies calling at EU ports.

Source: ECSA

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