What is the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI)?

The EEDI for new ships is the most important technical measure and aims to promote the use of more energy efficient (less polluting) equipment and engines. The EEDI requires a minimum energy efficiency level per capacity mile depending on ship type and size segments. 

Since 1 January 2013, following an initial two-year phase zero, new ship designs have needed to meet the reference level for their ship type. The level is to be tightened incrementally every five years, so the EEDI is expected to stimulate continued innovation and technical development of all the components influencing the fuel efficiency of a ship from its design phase. The EEDI is a non-prescriptive, performance-based mechanism that leaves the choice of technologies in a specific ship design to the industry. 

As long as the required energy efficiency levels are attained, ship designers and builders are free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for to comply with the regulations. The EEDI provides a specific figure for an individual ship design, expressed in grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per ship’s capacity-mile (the smaller the EEDI the more energy efficient ship design) and is calculated by a formula based on the technical design parameters for a given ship. 

The CO2 reduction level (grams of CO2 per ton-mile) for the first phase is set to 10% and will be tightened every five years to keep pace with technological developments of new efficiency and reduction measures. Reduction rates have been established until the period 2025 and onwards when a 30% reduction will be mandated for applicable ship types calculated from a reference line representing the average efficiency for ships built between 2000 and 2010. 

The EEDI is developed for the largest and most energy intensive segments of the world merchant fleet and covers emissions from new ships covering the following ship types: tankers, bulk carriers, gas carriers, general cargo ships, container ships, refrigerated cargo carriers, and combination carriers. In 2014, MEPC adopted amendments to the EEDI regulations to extend the scope of EEDI to: LNG carriers, ro-ro cargo ships (vehicle carriers), ro-ro cargo ships, ro-ro passenger ships and cruise passenger ships with non-conventional propulsion. These amendments mean that ship types responsible for approximately 85% of the CO2 emissions from international shipping are incorporated under the international regulatory regime.

Since 2012, Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted/approved or amended following important guidelines aimed at assisting the implementation of the mandatory regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships in MARPOL Annex VI:

  • 2014 Guidelines on survey and certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), as amended
  • 2014 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index for new ships, as amended
  • 2013 Guidelines for calculation of reference lines for use with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI)
  • 2013 Guidelines for calculation of reference lines for use with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for cruise passenger ships having non-conventional propulsion
  • 2013 Interim guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the maneuverability of ships in adverse conditions, as amended
  • 2016 Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)
  • 2013 Guidance on treatment of innovative energy efficiency technologies for calculation and verification of the attained EEDI
  • Interim Guidelines for the calculation of the coefficient fw for decrease in ship speed in a representative sea condition for trial use

The above Guidelines and resolutions are available here 

Finalization and adoption / approval of the supporting guidelines / guidance was a significant achievement which provides sufficient lead time for Administrations and industry to prepare. The guidelines will support Member States in their uniform implementation of the new chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships.

Published by MKD PV50

Margaret Kaigh Doyle has spent three decades working in the maritime and energy sectors. Doyle served four terms as an appointed member of the US Coast Guard Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), most recently chairing its LNG Fuels Subcommittee. In 2014, Doyle was responsible for developing and delivering the first set of LNG Bunkering Courses in North America. In 2017, she worked as a member of the prep team for Eagle LNG Partners Talleyrand Bunkering Depot, designed and built specifically to fuel the Crowley Dual Fuel ConRo Vessels. Doyle has also participated on the U.S. Delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on LNG matters and serves as a value contributor to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), SEALNG and the Society for Marine Gas as Fuel (SGMF). She is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and holds advanced degrees in engineering from The George Washington and Pennsylvania State Universities.

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