Evergreen Calls on Industry to Protect the Environment

Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Evergreen Vice Group Chairman Chang Kuo-Cheng urged the international transportation industry to “come together – ocean carriers, ports, terminals, inland carriers and shippers – to develop new ways to protect the environment for future generations while we maintain the efficiency of our global network”.

As the keynote speaker at the annual Transpacific Maritime Conference (TPM) in Los Angeles, Mr Chang, who is also Chairman of Evergreen Marine Corporation, said:

“At past industry conferences this issue might be dismissed as commercially insignificant – not something with which we as business people, transportation professionals, need be concerned. This is no longer the case.” He continued: “We must begin to develop the foundation for a sustainable container transportation industry – environmentally, socially, economically and commercially responsible and viable.”

Once we have developed this foundation, Chang said: “We must educate. We must raise the awareness of the world’s people to the importance of our industry and why investment is so critical – investment from everyone worldwide. We all realise the benefits of container shipping when we acquire goods at affordable prices – as our shared standard of living improves worldwide.”

Chang highlighted some of the technology available that can be used in vessel upgrades and new shipbuilding design. These include:

· double-skinned hull;

· fuel tanks situated within the transverse bulkhead spaces, minimising the risk of oil pollution or fire as a result of grounding or collision;

· high-capacity oily water separator enabling the oil content of waste water to be reduced to just 15ppm;

· larger separator bilge oil and bilge oil holding tanks providing more storage capacity than normal;

· Similar arrangements for handling sewage and so-called grey water, including water from the cargo hold bilges, when the vessels are in port or close to shore

· Main engines and generators incorporating low-NOx technology while the ships are also able to switch to low-sulphur fuels when sailing in restricted areas;

· ‘Cold-ironing,’ the ability to shut down all shipboard generators while in port, switching to shore-based electricity supplies;

· The latest tin-free anti-fouling systems being used for the underwater hull coatings.

Much of this new technology, he noted, is being incorporated into all Evergreen Group newbuildings. But, he noted: “In our new technologically advanced and sometimes complex world, it is easy to forget that long before containers, mankind has depended on the oceans for survival and progress. On the ocean, people of different cultures have broken through natural boundaries to interact with other cultures and to create more advanced societies. Civilisations have grown through economic development relying on trade. Ocean transportation has made this possible with more than 75 per cent of global trade – more than 6.6 trillion US dollars of merchandise – today carried over the seas.

Commenting on the upcoming 50th anniversary of containerisation, Chang told the audience of nearly 1,000 industry professionals at the Journal of Commerce-sponsored event:

“We must realise we are no longer unconnected. Our success – all of us in an integrated global supply and demand chain – depends on the success of the whole. The success of the entire world economy and the well being of all of the world’s people are dependent on our ability to succeed as sustainable businesses at this critical juncture in our industry’s history.”

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