Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan

All shipping companies will need to have a mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) implemented by the 1st January 2013. This legislation, developed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), is intended to establish a mechanism for a company to improve the energy efficiency across their fleet.


Shipping companies are under greater pressure than ever before to use resources efficiently. The pressure may stem from the volatile cost of bunker fuels, complex regulatory compliance requirements or the fact that many organisations are now expected to demonstrate to their stakeholders that they are minimising their emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gasses.

The purpose of a SEEMP is to establish a management tool to assist a company in managing the ongoing environmental performance of its vessels. Besides IMO compliance, the benefits are obvious:

  • reduction of annual operating costs and CO2 emissions,
  • optimisation of ship operating strategies,
  • evidence of proactive environmental management.

The SEEMP Audit

A typical audit usually take several days on a medium-sized ship and comprise a systematic evaluation of how energy is used on board, inefficient technologies and working practices are identified, so that practical improvement opportunities can be implemented.

Scope of Work

The scope of work would include organisational specific measures (i.e. voyage planning and trim optimisation) and ship specific covering the management, control and utilisation of all main propulsion and auxiliary powered systems including electricity generation, heating, refrigeration, ventilation, steam, compressed air, HVAC systems, lighting and identifying opportunities for energy recovery.

The SEEMP Report

The SEEMP report is a comprehensive document using IMO circular (MEPC.1/Circ.683) as guidance and include the following recommended steps.

The SEEMP should be seen as a ‘live’ document, containing energy improvement measures identified by the ship owner, that will be kept onboard each ship. The document will be reviewed regularly to establish the relevance and impact of each measure on ship and fleet operations. Each SEEMP will be ship specific but should be linked to a broader corporate energy management policy of the ship owner.

SEEMP General Information

1. When the SEEMP becomes a mandatory requirement?

The SEEMP will become mandatory from January 1, 2013, when the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI enter into force.

2. Who has to comply?

Applies to all ship owners/managers/operators with ships above 400 GT and include Crude and Gas tankers, Bulk carriers, Container ships, General and refrigerated cargo ships and Cruise liners.

3. What ships are not included?

Ships with diesel-electric, turbine, hybrid propulsion systems and harbour service vessels.

4. Can we just create a generic SEEMP for each of our ships?

The whole purpose of the SEEMP is to be ship-specific. The risk of having a generic SEEMP is that some of the energy efficiency measures (EEM) may not apply to other ships or may be too generic and impractical to implement. It should be noted that the SEEMP should contain only those energy efficient measures which can be effectively implemented for each ship.

5. Will the SEEMP be subject to public scrutiny?

No. The reporting aspect of a SEEMP is purely voluntary. There may be some benefits in reporting information on the efficiency impacts due to the SEEMP in that it declares your proactive environmental ‘green’ credentials.

6. Our Environmental Management System already addresses many key areas that are described by the SEEMP; can this be used in its place?

No. The SEEMP should be a separate ship-specific document to be kept onboard each ship.

7. Do we have to use the EEOI as the monitoring tool?

No. The Guidance in MEPC.1/Circ.683 states that it ‘…can be used for this purpose.’ It suggests that the method used is preferably an international standard, however there is nothing to say that other tools or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) cannot be used.

8. How often should the SEEMP be reviewed?

This is at the discretion of the ship owner/operator. In order to ensure that the SEEMP remains relevant and have a positive effect on onboard energy efficiency, it is important to review the SEEMP on an annual basis and to feedback the results of each review into the next planning phase of the SEEMP.

9. Penalties for non-compliance?

The SEEMP is a mandatory requirement and policed by an international body (IMO). There will be penalties for non-compliance. At this stage it is unclear what these penalties will be.