Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ports Join Other Freight and Logistics Interests in Environmental Drive

Proactive Approach with Solar Panel and LNG Use
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – There was a time when the drive toward greener freight transport solutions was an exclusive province of the US and a few European countries but with the international nature of logistics it could not remain that way for long and now a variety of global countries strive to achieve levels of environmental performance that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

The latest sector to work flat out toward a cleaner product has been the port sector and today Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT), a joint venture established by the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group and Shenzhen Yantian Port Group (YPG) began its second Environment Week in which it showcased new solar panel installations and signed an LNG agreement, both aimed at increasing the use of clean energy at the port. YICT has launched a number of green initiatives over the past few years, including the use of electric and hybrid rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGC) in order to reduce its carbon footprint.

The latest initiatives saw YICT sign an agreement with Beijing Xingkai Yuan New Energy Technology Co., Ltd for use of the new solar panels. These solar panels are lighter in weight and more flexible than traditional panels. Using the latest technology, they also have 20% higher energy conversion efficiency. YICT is the first port operator in mainland China to install these latest generation solar panels and plans to install more over the course of the year. By the end of this year, YICT plans to install solar panels on the rooftops of its terminal buildings covering 60,000 square metres.

The ceremony also featured the signing of an agreement between YICT and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the largest offshore oil and gas producer in China. Under the agreement, CNOOC will supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the terminal for its fleet of more than 200 LNG-powered tractors. With a total of 16 berths and a yard area of 373 hectares, YICT has built up an extensive cargo base which attracts about 40 major shipping lines that provide over 100 weekly services linking to major ports worldwide.

XIE Man Ying, Deputy Director General of Department of Water Transport, Ministry of Transport of China, together with other relevant government officials, and visitors from shipping lines and the Port of Hamburg, attended the ceremony and Managing Director of YICT, HAI Chi Yuet said it was his company’s intention to always take a proactive approach to both reducing exhaust emissions and energy consumption and to protect the marine environment.

Photo: Officials gather at the opening ceremony of Environment Week.