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Workshops reveal DP community’s views on GHG ambitions 

Published on 19 April 2024

Last year IMCA held two workshops with the Dynamic Positioning (DP) community covering GHG emissions and the challenges for the industry to meet the more stringent IMO GHG Targets for the offshore fleet worldwide.  

Held at the DP Asia Conference in Singapore in June 2023 and at the IMCA Regional Meeting in Rio de Janeiro on 9 November 2023, the two workshops reveal differing regional perspectives, as well as common concerns around the new interim targets.  

In both Rio and Singapore, workshop participants were experienced DP professionals who shared their knowledge gained from years of working offshore. 

Overall, both regions demonstrated a clear understanding of the challenges and some potential solutions to reducing GHG emissions and adapting to new technology in the DP sector.  

Asia’s responses tended to be more diverse and cautious, focusing on safety and the practicality of proposed solutions, while Brazil’s answers were more straightforward, emphasising the economic and risk aspects. Both global regions agreed on the need to update competencies and regulations considering innovative technologies and fuels.

IMCA Contact

Margaret Fitzgerald
Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs

Practical measures for a 40% reduction by 2030 

Most participants in the Asia workshop revealed an initially negative response to the challenge, claiming that it was simply “not possible”. While revealing of an overall sense of pessimism, there were references to a range of potential solutions – biofuels, hybrid solutions, carbon capture, onshore power. 

Participants in Brazil similarly shared a range of potential solutions but had a stronger inclination towards alternative fuels which reflected local production – Bio-fuels, methanol and ethanol (from sugar cane), as well as exhaust scrubbing, waste gas recovery, were all discussed. 

Both regions see the lack of a common fuel technology as a significant barrier to meeting the interim target of 40% reduction in emissions in this space.

Power plant re-configuration vs. the increased risk profile 

The Asia workshop shared strong concerns about safety being compromised indicating a cautious approach, emphasising a need for validation and verification. They also demonstrated an understanding of the commercial risks – especially for new builds – which shows a focus on thorough assessment before any implementation of a new approach. 

Participants in the Rio de Janeiro workshop rejected the idea of re-configuration due to risk. There was some openness to battery technology, indicating a more risk-averse stance that prioritises safety and financial considerations over technological advancements. 

Competency & STCW95 revision due to new technology and fuels 

Affirming the need for revision and pointing out the current challenges over recruitment, retention, and the need to attract more talent to the sector, Asia recognised the gap in current competencies. There was a comment around STCW always being behind current industry thinking which indicates a strong perception of a regulatory lag. 

In Brazil, there was a straightforward agreement on the need for revision, showing consensus on the necessity for regulatory certainty. 

Future-proofing our fleet

Agreeing on the need for revision and focusing on future-proofing replacements and questioning shipyards’ readiness, Asia showed a forward-looking approach, emphasising preparedness for future challenges. 

In Brazil, there was a pragmatic view that old vessels “die dirty” versus the potential for more modern ships to be converted and for new builds to wait for technological maturity. This reflects a nuanced understanding of the fleet’s lifecycle and the economic realities of retrofitting compared to new construction. 

Tickets for IMCA’s DP Conference are available until Monday 15 April 2024. IMCA’s new campaign, ProjectGHG, brings the industry together for a vital conversation on GHGs. Find out more and browse our Member resources at the dedicated online hub