The 2012 guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships, MEPC.212(63), as updated by MEPC 245(66) in April 2014, represent a major step forward in implementing energy efficiency regulations for ships through the introduction of the EEDI limits for various types of ships. There are, however, serious concerns regarding the sufficiency of propulsion power and steering devices to maintain maneuverability of ships in adverse conditions, hence regarding the safety of ships, if the EEDI requirements are achieved by simply reducing the installed engine power. This was the rationale for a new EU funded research project with the acronym SHOPERA (2013-2016), aiming at developing suitable methods, tools and guidelines to effectively address the above concerns. The paper discusses the background of the ongoing research in project SHOPERA, presents early and intermediate results of the project and discusses certain fundamental issues regarding the formulation of proper criteria and practical assessment procedure for ship’s maneuverability and safety under adverse conditions.

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