AkzoNobel makes waves with carbon credits scheme

Spanish ferry operator Balearia has signed up to AkzoNobel's landmark program which financially incentivises ship owners to reduce carbon emissions by earning carbon credits.

The scheme, launched last year, is based on ship owners adopting a biocide-free hull coating – such as AkzoNobel’s ‘Intersleek’ product – which is proven to reduce fuel consumption and emissions therefore.

Baleària, passenger ferry, Martin i Soler, has now enrolled into the carbon credits scheme, having made use of the greener biocide-free coating at the end of 2013. The vessel has seen a 12% improvement in fuel-efficiency – a reduction of 15 tonnes of CO2 per day.


Baleària’s managing fleet director Guillermo Alomar said: “We decided to use the new technology due to the fuel saving potential and the positive environmental image of using biocide-free technology on our passenger vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. The performance improvement was immediately apparent and analysis of the first year of sailing data confirms a significant fuel saving of over 12%.”

Baleària intends to use the carbon credits as evidence of the ferry operator’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and to aid investment in its other vessels.

The company joins a growing number of ferry firms that have enrolled into the second round of AkzoNobel’s carbon credit claims. The first round – worth almost $500,000 for 17 vessels – is being audited now, and AkzoNobel anticipates the first credits to be issued shortly.”

EU regulation

Oscar Wezenbeek, director of AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business, added: “We are very pleased with the positive response to our carbon credits program. Based on the 100 eligible ships already converted from a biocidal antifouling to Intersleek technology, there is an estimated $2.8m worth of carbon credits potentially available to ship owners and operators.”

The shipping industry – which accounts for 4% of the Europe’s emissions – is facing tighter greenhouse gas regulations from the European Commission with a new CO2 tracking law and a sulphur oxides cap. 

As of 1 January 2015, shipping companies have to be using fuel with no more than 0.1% sulphur in the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The previous limit for sulphur in marine fuel in those areas was 1%. 

And, from January 2018, the shipping sector will have to track its CO2 emissions for the first time. The new rules will apply to ships using EU ports and weighing more than 5,000 tonnes, with several exceptions including warships, fishing boats and ‘wooden ships of a primitive build’. 

Luke Nicholls

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