As the maritime world looks for ways to encourage shipping companies to accelerate the use of green technologies, the Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) is set to become the first flag in the world to provide incentives for the use of green technologies. The goal is to provide support for the acceleration of the development of the new technologies joining regulators, ports, and shipping routes such as the Suez and Panama Canals, which have all discussed incentives for green shipping technologies.
“There is so much debate in the sector regarding which alternative fuels will be best in the future which conversely can create confusion and delay innovation,” said Cameron Mitchell, Director of the IOMSR. “We want to jump-start work in this area with this new green registration fee and state clearly that if you are a shipping line making steps towards hitting IMO Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions targets, the Isle of Man flag will reward you.”
The new measure will give shipowners a 15 percent reduction on their annual registration fee. The reduced fee, which is due for approval in March to become effective April 1, 2022, will be available to operators of cargo ships, commercial yachts, or passenger ships that are investing in biofuel, alternative fuels, wind, or shore-side energy technology.
To qualify for the green registration fee, vessels will need to provide evidence that they can use alternative fuel or other green power sources, including liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, hydrogen-enriched fuel, fuel cells, or battery systems. Using biofuel or biofuel blends as the primary source of fuel for a period of not less than 120 days during the 12 months is also a qualifier and, in a node to emerging technologies, they are also including the ability to use wind-assisted propulsion or wind energy for power generation. Finally, they will provide incentives to ships that can use cold ironing drawing shore power while loading or unloading cargo and turning off their main and auxiliary engines at berth.
The IOMSR points to this new effort as its latest demonstration of being a progressive flag state. They were also the first flag to issue an acceptance of a modification for a Very Large Gas Carrier to run on liquefied petroleum gas as a greener fuel working with Oslo-listed shipping company BW LPG. They were also the first flag state to join the Getting to Zero Coalition in 2020. The IOMSR’s forward-looking stance has helped it to attract new registrations from shipowners around the globe, including from China.
“We are looking at ambitious ways to take action on the decarbonization agenda that make a difference,” said Mitchell, noting that they aim to hit the IMO’s 2050 target to develop commercially viable, deep-sea zero-emission vessels by 2030. “We want to welcome more new, greener ships to our fleet.”
The IOMSR is currently ranked 17 in the world by Clarkson’s with around 400 ships and 14 million gross tons under its flag. The registry has held a top spot on the Paris MoU Port State Control whitelist and is on the whitelist in the Tokyo MoU rankings.