The International Maritime University of Panama has been selected to host the IMO’s regional maritime technology cooperation center for the Latin America region.
The project, funded by the E.U. and implemented by IMO, aims to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. The center will deliver the agreed project milestones over a three-year period, making a significant contribution to the IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.
Other centers have already been established in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In February, the IMO announced that Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology would host MTCC-Africa. In December 2016, the IMO announced that Shanghai Maritime University in China would host MTCC-Asia, while the University of Trinidad and Tobago would host MTCC-Caribbean.
One more center will be established in the Pacific, to form a global network of five centers.
The centers will receive allocations from €10 million ($10.9 million) of E.U. funding to become regional centers of excellence, providing leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.
Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are expected to increase, but developing countries, which play a significant role in international shipping, often lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors. The project, formally entitled “Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry” will enable developing countries to effectively implement energy-efficiency measures through technical assistance, capacity building and promoting technical cooperation.
The centers will act as focal point for:
• improving capability in the region - by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, other relevant government departments and related shipping stakeholders to facilitate compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships
• promoting the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through pilot projects
• raising awareness about policies, strategies and measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas and other emissions from the maritime transport sector
• demonstrating a pilot-scale system for collecting data and reporting on ships’ fuel consumption to improve shipowners’ and maritime administrations’ understanding in this regard, and
• developing and implementing strategies to sustain the impact of center results and activities beyond the project timeline.