TALLINN - The Estonian Association of Ship Owners has requested the Ministry of Environment to ask that Estonia be allowed to delay transposing the environmentally friendly ship fuel directive until 2020, reports National Broadcasting. The organization explained that shipyards would not have enough time to reconstruct the vessels according to specifications. The society might also not be prepared to handle the major price surge in shipping transport.
From 2015, vessels sailing on the Baltic Sea will be obliged to use fuel that is much more environmentally-friendly than the current type used, and the ships will also have to be reconstructed. For a couple of years already, the ship owners operating in the North Sea and in the Baltic Sea have complained that if the maritime environment protection terms would be made stricter by the European Commission, the prices for ship transport would surge and the local companies’ competitiveness would be hurt.
Estonian ship owners have calculated that reconstructing vessels so that they would work on LNG or diesel fuel, instead of crude oil, would cost them from 10-15 million euros. Managing Director of the Estonian Association of Ship Owners Enn Kreem also asserted that reconstructing vessels by 2015 would not be feasible.
“This would be particularly costly and, as was discussed at a recent meeting of the European Union Association of Ship Owners in Brussels, there might not be enough reconstruction capacity in the European Union, as an estimated 10,000 vessels would have to be rebuilt,” he explained.