Candidates for Thor Heyerdahl Award Chosen

Friday, June 01, 2007
The committee for the Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environmental Award has nominated shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen, the Norwegian-headed industry and research project FellowSHIP Project and the ProSea Foundation in Holland for this year’s Heyerdahl Award.

The committee has now submitted the list of nominees to an award committee, which will choose this year’s winner. The award will be presented by His Majesty King Harald at the opening of Nor-Shipping in Lillestrøm on 12 June.

The committee chose the three candidates because of their exceptional technical innovation and proactive environmental work. In its recommendation, the committee states: “They have a high environmental standard and are currently leaders in developing more eco-friendly shipping”

This year, the committee – made up of experts from different countries – had several well-qualified candidates up for evaluation and mentioned in particular the Norwegian company OceanSaver and Danish shipping company A.P.Møller as strong candidates for the award.

Elisabeth Grieg, vice president of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association and head of the award committee, says she is happy to note the large number of qualified and interesting candidates for this year’s Heyerdahl Award.

“Having so many solid candidates for the award indicates that the entire shipping industry is now taking environmental challenges very seriously, putting this vital matter at the top of their agenda,” says Elisabeth Grieg.

Thor Heyerdahl and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association established the International Maritime Environmental Award in 1999. The award is handed out every two years, and the purpose is to make a contribution toward improving the global environment, show the environmental benefits of shipping as a transport mode and inspire toward the implementation of new environmental measures.

The committee states the following reasons for its recommendation:

Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Wallenius Wilhelmsen operates 52 RoRo ships sailing America, Europe, the Mid-East and Asia. The shipping company was nominated for its generally high environmental profile, its environment-oriented activities and future plans for more eco-friendly operations. The committee has also noted the company’s strong commitment to communicating its efforts and the need for eco-friendly shipping.

FellowSHIP Project

This joint project, where Det norske Veritas and Eidesvik Offshore are participants, aims to develop power packages of fuel cells specially designed for marine operations. This development, which is still in the research stage, could reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent. The expert committee says the fuel cell technology will make a vital contribution toward reducing emissions of environmentally harmful substances such as sulfur, nitrogen and CO2.

ProSea Foundation

ProSea is an independent, non-commercial foundation that provides shipowners and mariners with instruction and training in environmental know-how and understanding. In its statement, the expert committee says the foundation’s focus on the human element is fundamental to the shipping industry’s contribution toward the environment. ProSea has for a long time distinguished itself with its instruction and training program for increasing mariners’ environmental awareness and knowledge of international laws and regulations in this area. The committee says giving the award to ProSea would be entirely in keeping with Thor Heyerdahl’s spirit for the future conservation of the marine environment.

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