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The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) has given the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) the go-ahead to collect fuel consumption data from offshore vessels and use it to calculate two proxies for the assessment of the carbon intensity of the offshore and contracting sector.

IMCA had included a request to use two proxies in its submission to MEPC, and the IMO’s review of the result will determine which, if either, of the proxies will be used for the sector.

Margaret Fitzgerald, IMCA’s Head of Marine Policy & Regulatory Affairs, commented: ‘Our members are well aware that IMCA successfully argued at the IMO that the “transport work proxy”, which has been developed as a CI Indicator for cargo ships, is not a suitable metric for assessing carbon intensity of the offshore and marine contracting sector since the measurement of fuel consumed/distance travelled does not reflect how the offshore sector operates.

‘If you take DP vessels, much of the time their fuel consumption is expended on staying still in the interests of safety, during tasks (such as saturation diving) being undertaken on the seabed.’

She continued: ‘In its paper MEPC 76/5/3, IMCA expressed concern to IMO Member States about the voluntary nature of submission of data for offshore and marine contracting vessels and cautioned that care is needed to ensure that the process is carefully managed to minimise the possibility of selection bias and inadequate quality control leading to a distorted impression when analysing the different proxies.

‘Naturally, we are delighted that our submission to MEPC 76 last month was accepted.  In a supplementary paper (MEPC 74/INF.35) to its’ proxy paper, IMCA highlighted the fact that there are more than 20 different vessel types operating in the offshore and marine contracting sector and it is going to be a challenge to identify a single proxy which will be appropriate to suit all those vessels. It is imperative that sufficient data is collected for each of these vessel types and so it is a great outcome for IMCA members that IMCA has been authorised to oversee the process.’

IMCA said it will be contacting all members impacted by the mandatory requirement in order to collect fuel consumption data for the 2019 and 2020 reporting periods, via an updated spreadsheet, to enable Proxies A and B to be calculated and the result then submitted to the IMO.


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