Unipec among trio of charterers choosing green

London: China’s Unipec, one of the world’s most important tanker charterers, is one of the pioneers in an innovative green chartering movement. Cargill, the world’s largest charterer of bulk carriers, Huntsman Corporation, a chemicals giant and Unipec UK, a division of China’s largest oil trader, came out yesterday with a joint statement bound to alter the course of international shipping.

The trio announced that “they will only charter the more efficient vessels operating in the shipping market” in what they claimed “is the first of its kind in the industry to reduce the existing fleet carbon emissions”.

The three companies charter over 350m tonnes of commodities annually.

The companies will be using the Existing Vessel Design Index (EVDI), created by ship vetting specialist RightShip and published on ShippingEfficiency.org – an initiative launched by the Carbon War Room and RightShip to increase information flows around international shipping's energy efficiency, as an GHG Emissions Rating (A-G rating) benchmarking system. The efficiency ratings system – containing efficiency information on over 60,000 vessels including container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, cargo ships – enables charterers to instantly see a ship’s theoretical greenhouse gas emissions and relative energy efficiency as determined by RightShip’s EVDI rated from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), compared to ships of similar size and type.

Unipec, ranked second with 586 tankers, among all tanker charterers in 2011, according to statistics from brokers Poten. The Asian company was the 14th-largest charterer five years ago and fifth-biggest in 2010, Poten said.

“Cargill has introduced a senior management override on the use of the least energy efficiency vessels.  By choosing the more efficient vessel available to us, we are making a strong statement to the market,” commented Jonathan Stoneley, environment and compliance manager, Cargill Ocean Transportation. “We hope this action will demonstrate to ship owners that they can and should do more in terms of efficiency, and that the market will reward them and will also show other charterers the decision support tools available if they want to operate more efficiently. We will work together with customers, as best appropriate, to help them meet their environmental objectives linked to transportation and this rating system.”

Peter Boyd, COO of Carbon War Room commented: “This deal represents the first major capital shift on behalf of the charterers towards making greater efficiency a factor in their vessel chartering decisions. Cargill, Huntsman Corporation and UNIPEC UK should be congratulated for being the first to make this commitment. We’d encourage other charterers within the market, to look towards the simple and understandable ways to quantify, measure and track efficiency represented by the efficiency rating system and the A-G benchmark. Those that lead the curve on presenting more eco-efficient vessels will benefit from the choices charterers are making and the charterers themselves will see lowered operating costs through fuel efficiency – a win-win-win decision for the owner, the charterer and the environment.”

Warwick Norman, ceo, RightShip, added: “Cargill, Huntsman Corporation and UNIPEC UK have strong commitments to maximise efficiency on environmental grounds, and we are proud to provide them with the decision support tool they need to implement their environmental leadership position. With the common decision making framework first movers will have significant market advantage over competitors who are using traditional methods to evaluate efficiency.”

Our parent company, Asia Shipping Media, will be convening an exclusive, by-invitation-only business breakfast on October 23 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore with the theme of ‘Eco-Dollars’ – how green will be the new currency of shipping. For more details contact grant@asiashippingmedia.com  [03/10/12]

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