as owners and operators would have the industry believe. According to INTERTANKO's (International Association of Independent Tanker Owners) figures, CDI inspections only account for one to two of the 30 or more inspections that a tanker might undergo in the course of a year. As Whittle pointed out, in this context CDI inspections do not place an undue burden on tanker operators, and therefore, the idea that the harmonisation of CDI and SIRE will somehow solve the problem of multiple inspections is something of a red herring. The debate about the proliferation of inspections notwithstanding, CDI continues to make discernible progress. Whittle said that CDI's access ratio - the average number of accesses per report - continues to rise. Last year, the figure was 3.5, and this year the Institute expects it to rise to 3.7. The rise indicates that existing CDI members - of which there are currently over 40 - are using CDI more and more. CDI and SIRE both show trends of increasing usage of their systems by their members, which means that the problem really lies elsewhere. Port state control authorities, for example, are allowed free access to both systems, but have so far declined to take up the option. According to Whittle, CDI invested $15,000 in creating the software that would enable PSC to extract statutory data and is more than a little disappointed that PSC only withdraws one to two reports a month. On the other hand, one group which has grasped the opportunity with both hands is that of pool managers. In this case, CDI spent $25,000, and it was money well spent. Pool managers have a great interest in the CDI reports and are able to withdraw them in read-only format. In spite of PSC's apparent lack of interest in CDI reports, Whittle pointed out that the reports contain valuable information which can be used for many other applications beyond their utility as part of the vetting process. Shipowners themselves have to "force it forward" and encourage other parties within the industry to make use of CDI reports, said Whittle. Such a statement places the onus of halting the proliferation of inspections firmly on owners.
Bunkering and the environment The Port of Rotterdam is the third biggest bunkering port in the world, selling 17,000 bunker stems worth $1.3 billion per year. According to Capt Cornelius de Keyzer, senior policy advisor to Rotterdam Port Management, sales of heavy fuel oil (HFO) have been steadily growing in relation to other grades of fuel oil, leading to demand for larger stem sizes and larger barges. This demand has seen the development of so-called 'mega-barges', several of which are currently being built by various barging companies, including Vopak and Unilloyd. The natural focus on the bunkering industry within Rotterdam has led to a heightened awareness of the environmental implications of ship emissions, and the pressure the EU is bringing to bear on the industry has only served to sharpen that awareness. According to Capt de Keyzer, global marine fossil fuel consumption comprises 6 per cent of the world's annual liquid energy demand, with combustion responsible for 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions; 4 per cent of global SO2 emissions; and 7 per cent of global NOx emissions. Capt de Keyzer asserted that the question is not whether or not to reduce emissions, but how they should be reduced, an approach that he terms "EROS" (Emission Reduction ObjectiveS). "People often argue that shipping does not contribute much to the world's emissions, but in the EU at least, all of the other modes of transport have reduced theirs," he said, making it clear that the shipping sector would have to follow suit. He pointed out that the EROS approach will cost money, but that it is necessary, not least because the legislative authorities have taken the initiative onboard, as codified in IMO's MARPOL Annex VI and the EU's Gasoline Directive 1994/63/EC; Sulphur Directive 1999/32/EC; and Acidification Strategy 1997-2010. However, in spite of IMO's good intentions, MARPOL Annex VI remains unratified, as it requires the approval of 15 countries representing at least 50 per cent of the