Since 2013 new ships must comply with design efficiency standards: their Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) has to be better than the average for a comparable ship built between 1999 and 2008. Over time, ships must become more efficient. The IMO is currently conducting a review of future stringency.
This study analysed the design efficiency of new ships as measured by the Estimated Index Value (EIV), which is a simplified form of the EEDI. Ships that entered the fleet between 2009 (the first year that ship values were not included in the calculation of the EEDI reference line) and mid-2014 (the last year of data used for this study) were studied.
The analysis shows that container ships have improved their EIV since 2009, bulkers since 2013 and tankers possibly in 2014, although the sample of ships in that year was quite small. For all ship types, the majority of vessels have an EIV below the EEDI reference line. Additionally, 25% of all new tankers and 61% of all new container ships have EIVs at least 20% below the reference line. If one were to take the actual specific fuel consumption of new engines into account, rather than the value prescribed in the EIV formula, the share of vessels below the reference lines would be greater.
The EIV improvements have, for a number of size categories, coincided with increases in average design speed and decreases in main engine power. This suggests that hull or propulsion efficiency has been improved. These findings also suggest that, if design speeds were kept constant, even larger improvements in design efficiency would have been possible.