Technological watch

Assessing the emissions of short sea international shipping: a case study of the Mytilini–Ayvalik route

Short sea shipping involves transporting passengers and cargo between European ports and coastal countries bordering Europe on enclosed seas. Challenges include aging fleets and environmental concerns, but efforts to reduce emissions are in progress through the use of low-sulfur fuels, hybrid and electric vessels, and improved energy efficiency. This study focuses on emissions from international short shipping routes between Mytilini and Ayvalik, using standardized emission factors to calculate CO2, SO2, NOx, PM, and HC emissions. The research aims to bridge knowledge gaps and provide insights into these emissions, identifying the main commercial ships on the route, analyzing their emissions, and discussing the findings. Overall, six ships completed the route, consuming an average of 60 L of fuel per hour per 100 HP, depending on factors like speed and total load. Notably, NOx emissions are the highest, followed by sulfur oxides, with values exceeding 12.9 and 3.5 tons, respectively. As anticipated, cruising is the shipping practice with the highest energy footprint, amounting to 695 MWh. An essential discovery is that hoteling plays a significant role in energy consumption and emissions, accounting for 152 MWh out of the total 881 MWh consumed across all shipping practices. The potential adoption of hydrogen as a fuel holds the promise of substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, enhancements in air quality, and noise pollution mitigation.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.