Europa Ship Plan officially included to the Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) for Motorways of the Sea (MoS) On the 15th of March 2016 took place in Brussels the 1st MoS Forum on Environment. During the meeting various parameters affecting environmental sustainability were discussed and particularly Climate Change, Air Quality (SECA), Operational Pollution, Accidental Pollution, Integrated use of marine resources, Compensation measures and Financing. In the section of financing, the solutions required to correspond to policy priorities and industry’s needs and threats were discussed and specific recommendations were included in the Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) for Motorways of the Sea (MoS). Europa Ship Plan- the initiative of the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association was included to DIP as a viable solution to maintain the sustainability of the SSS activity. The document referred that: “Shipping transportation is vital for South Europe especially for peripheral, ultra-peripheral and archipelagic countries and regions such as the Aegean Archipelago, Azores, Madeira, Corsica, Sardinia, Cyprus etc. Short Sea Fleet of south Europe is ageing. For example in Greece more than 1300 short sea vessels will be affected by the 2020 sulphur cap while the average age of these vessels is more than 25 years old. This short life spam horizon makes non feasible the retrofitting option for the vast majority of the fleet. The “Europa Ship” Plan is introducing a sustainable financing strategy for the renewal of the South European Short Sea Shipping fleet, by adding innovative and green characteristics to it. It is targeting the entire Short Sea fleet including freight and passengers short haul vessels (wet and dry bulkers, Containers, Car Carriers, RoRo and RoPax vessels. The Plan will:
• Unlock funding for new short sea vessel constructions
• Comply with the forthcoming environment requirements and regulations,
• Improve competiveness for employment
• Serve the European goals.
The central concept of the project is the standardization of the construction process of new ships and ships’ equipment, along with the economies of scale that will incur as a result of a large-scale construction process. The standardization process is based on the aggregation of ship-owners needs in predefined appropriate prototype classes of vessels. These various classes will be constructed in a number of preselected EU shipyards. In that way, all involved shipyards will be specialized on specific vessel classes thus achieving substantial efficiencies. The ships employed in European Short Sea Shipping will bear to the maximum extend common modules, parts and equipment, while their differences will be based upon certain details according to the differentiation of the cargo in terms of type and quantity. In particular, the inherent sustainability of the Plan derives from the decreased CAPEX and OPEX. It is foreseen that through economies of scale deriving from the standardization and acquired specialization in ships’ construction process, the ship building cost in some cases can be reduced up to 15%. Additionally the use of LNG as fuel creates positive future cash flows decreasing operating expenses as much as 25% and 50% compared to HFO and MGO use respectively. The “Europa Ship” Plan approach takes into consideration the low bankability of the European Short Sea Shipping sector, along with the inability of the member states to provide enough funds or warranties. The implementation of the project is based and depends on innovative European funding tools (TEN-T, CEF, Juncker Plan and EIB SFT). We need to support a “win to win” mechanism where EUROPEAN incentives in shipping for environmental upgrade will have a multiplier effect in other EU sectors also such as the ship building industry, the engine and equipment manufactures. If in the process of complying with a new regulation, as a side effect imposes R&D and manufacturing, this should be targeted to EUROPE. The ships to be constructed, based on the fact that they will be 100% made in EU, may be the European answer to the problem. Furthermore, these ships will be considered as an exportable product themselves; given that their innovative construction process will make them competitive as they will be covering the majority of the compliance needs which will become mandatory in various places around the world. Moreover, employment in EU is expected to increase, either through the increased need for crews and the resulting need for employees at the shipyards and the manufacturers of shipping equipment. Finally, part of the improvement in the economic terms of using ships for transportation will be transferred to the end-user, due to the reduction of the construction cost and the loan service cost, thus assisting in a modal transportation shift, from road to sea.”
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