The EEDI for new ships is the most important technical measure and aims at promoting the use of more energy efficient (less polluting) equipment and engines. The EEDI requires a minimum energy efficiency level per capacity mile (e.g. tonne mile) for different ship type and size segments. Since 1 January 2013, following an initial two year phase zero, new ship design needs to meet the reference level for their ship type. The level is to be tightened incrementally every five years, and 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 to use in a specific ship design to the industry. As long as the required energy efficiency level is attained, ship designers and builders are free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for the ship 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 tonne 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 is 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 embraces 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 having 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.