NEWS view

Environment-friendly Marine coatings going strong


The shipbuilding industry, which is the main industry of marine coatings, is recently experiencing diverse changes due to a sharp decline in ship operations, and strengthened environment-friendly regulations of international ship related organizations. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in particular introduced the *Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for all new ships that have a contract from 2013, and a type of carbon emissions trading system and carbon tax according to the *Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI). This has created a turning point that has started a competition for fuel efficiency among shipyards. EEDI is now one of the most important elements that evaluate shipyard competitiveness. It is a regulation that limits the carbon emission volume of a ship, and if the standard is not met, a ship cannot be delivered. This indicates that the ship building industry is changing into an industry based on a competition of technology, in addition to cost.
IMO is also pursuing the goal of reducing CO2 emission per ship to around 50 to 70 percent of the current standard in the long term. In order to reach this goal, they have introduced carbon emissions trading system and carbon tax to induce unlimited fuel efficiency competition among shipyards. Therefore, main shipyards in Korea are developing dual engines that can use both heavy fuel and LNG to improve sailing efficiency, and meet environment-friendly regulations.

Shipping companies are also sailing at a slow speed to follow the trend of minimizing sailing cost and placing importance on the environment. The EU is currently reviewing Biocidal Products Regulation related to antifouling agents in marine coatings. BPR is a regulation to prevent ocean pollution due to *A/F paint applied to the bottom part of a ship, that only permits the use of authorized antifouling agents that does not include highly harmful substances.

Antifouling agents and paint products need to go through the processes regulated to acquire certification, and ships that use A/F paint with antifouling agents that are not certified may not even be allowed to enter any ports in EU countries. The whole world is making continuous efforts as such to protect the environment, and related regulations will be reinforced further in the future. Furthermore, a new law was enacted in Korea this year according to the Air Environment Preservation Act to reduce the amount of *Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in paint. The goal of the law was to reduce VOCs to improve air quality and the quality of life of people.

Application of the law expanded nationwide starting this year, increasing the standard of VOCs regulations of paint, and widening the range of restraint application to paint for ships and steel structures (steel bridges). In order to abide by the VOCs containment standard of paint, shipyards must use diluents recommended by manufacturers within the set proportion when coating, and are advised to check whether painting partners are using environment- friendly coatings and paints. This VOCs regulation allows paint produced up to 2014 to be used, but paint produced from 2015 must meet the standards of the regulation to be used. The domestic and international ship markets are strengthening regulations to protect the ocean environment and restraining paint use to keep up with the environment- friendly trend.