Thursday, 10 June 2010

New Rules for Green Yachts and Low-Sulphur Fuels

THE Technical Committee of Registro Italiano Navale, the body which has responsibility for the rules of leading classification society RINA, has outlined new additional class notations for environmentally friendly superyachts and commercial vessels using low-sulphur fuel.

At the annual meeting of the technical committee held in Genoa on June 9, chairman Umberto Masucci explained that RINA’s new rules include the following additional class notations:
  • GREEN PLUS for yachts in both the commercial and leisure sectors which provide eco-friendly design, construction and plant solutions
  • LSF – for ships with machinery using low sulphur-content fuel
RINA’s extensive experience of environmental protection, acquired through its involvement in the merchant shipping sector, has been transferred to yachts in the commercial and leisure sectors through an updating of the rules to include an assignment of environmental protection notations.

RINA has developed the new additional notation Green Plus at three different levels - Green Plus (Y), Green Plus (Y) (Gold) and Green Plus (Y) (Platinum) to be assigned to yachts which adopt design solutions, onboard systems/plant and operational procedures which contribute to improving environmental performance over and above the minimum limits established by the applicable rules.

The design solutions and onboard systems/plant can include any technical application able to reduce the risk of pollution, such as a reduction in fuel consumption and air emissions, through the design of innovative engines, the use of alternative fuels and high-technology propulsion systems, optimum hull design or use of biodegradable lubricants.

These are not prescriptive rules. Designers, shipowners and shipyards are free to reach the objectives set, entirely in line with the philosophy of goal-based standards. In particular, compliance with the rules is determined via an environmental index calculated by totalling the points achieved through compliance with the requirements established for assignment of the notation. The notation is assigned on the basis of the environmental index obtained, as follows:
  • Green Plus (Y) if the environmental index is at least 60.
  • Green Plus (Y) (Gold) if the environmental index is at least 80.
  • Green Plus (Y) (Platinum) if the environmental index is at least 100.
RINA’s new Low Sulphur Fuels (LSF) notation, meanwhile, reflects the introduction of Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) and current national and international rules such as EU Directive 2005/33/EC, the California Code of Regulations (CCR) and MARPOL Annex VI, all of which are designed to achieve a progressive reduction in the sulphur content of marine fuels. The new class notation will be assigned to both new and existing ships whose machinery uses low-sulphur-content fuel. The list of machinery and percentage of sulphur content in the fuel used will be recorded in ship survey documents.

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