Wednesday, October 19, 2016

World Port News Includes the Third Major Global Environmental Initiative

Rivals Join Together to Promote Green Causes Whilst Elsewhere It's Business as Usual
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – Proving once again that even fierce rivals such as the big players operating the major ports around the globe can work together in a good cause, the third annual joint environmental initiative launched by marine terminal operators APM Terminals, DP World, Hutchison Ports, Port of Rotterdam Authority (PRA), PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) concluded last month following a busy week of green activities around the globe. Meanwhile one participant, Dubai based DP World, continued to strengthen its port activities in the UK.

In keeping with the Go Green programme’s central idea that the entire industry should join hands to tackle environmental concerns, numerous joint activities took place in key ports ranging from Buenos Aires and Rotterdam to Busan. In some locations, local shipping companies were invited to take part in events that covered everything from planting trees to collecting trash. Community involvement is an integral part of Go Green and numerous activities involved local students, NGOs, non-profit organisations and government departments. Following the structure established last year, the campaign activities revolved around the three main themes of: reuse and recycle; climate change; the community.

APM Terminals and the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network saw various activities around the world as part of this year's Go Green Week programme. At APM Terminals Algeciras, Spain, these included hosting over one hundred local school children who were invited to see how the busiest container terminal on the Mediterranean Sea has recycled 80% of its waste. The school children were also invited to take part in efforts to make a count of endangered wildlife in the Algeciras Bay, as well as a hike in the nearby El Strecho (The Strait) Natural Park, to learn about the coastal ecosystem.

Other APM Terminals' sponsored activities included the launching of an electric car charging station at Shanghai East Container Terminal, in which APM Terminals holds a 49% share; the distribution of seeds for trees to school children in Brazil; the installation of power and water-saving devices in Bahrain and the clearing of litter from a sensitive mangrove area in Buenaventura, Colombia. APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer said:

“Sensitivity to the environment, and environmentally sustainable practices are becoming more widespread across our industry, we are very proud to be leaders in this area. The Go Green initiative is a great way for us to involve the entire community in our efforts.”

PSA ports around the world engaged in a diverse array of Go Green activities to foster positive environmental change and heighten the engagement of employees to this cause. Activities included conservation of the ecosystem, through planting trees and mangroves, releasing crabs back into their natural habitat, the clean-up of work and public areas such as terminals, offices, local parks and beaches, as well as recycling projects in offices around the world. In total, 1,286 seedlings were planted and 39 tonnes of used items were collected for recycling. PSA International Group CEO Tan Chong Meng said:

“At PSA, we see the Go Green efforts as a crucial part of contributing back to the communities in which we operate and reminding all of us of our role in bettering our environment and ensuring its sustainability. We encourage our staff to continually look-out for opportunities to recycle, reduce wastage and decrease our carbon footprint, not just during the Go Green Week but throughout the year. By coordinating these efforts alongside like-minded players which operate terminals in different parts of the world, we hope to raise the awareness that environmental preservation is the collective responsibility of industry leaders. Together, our actions make a critical difference to our environment.”

During project week some 50 employees of APM Terminals, Europe Container Terminals (Hutchison Ports), Rotterdam World Gateway (DP World) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority rolled up their sleeves and set to work at Mildenburg Estate in the Netherlands to retain the open habitat for a number of special dune species in the coastal area near the port. Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein said:

“The Port Authority aims to make Rotterdam the most sustainable port of the world. This means that we are happy to support initiatives like Go Green.”

Tree planting was central to the activities carried out by Hutchison Ports. These activities took a wide variety of forms, including planting and weeding activities in nature reserves to protect biodiversity; planting marine trees to prevent soil erosion; teaching local students how to plant and care for vegetable seedlings; taking part in a charity run to raise money for foresting a national park; and planting trees in various public areas to increase green spaces. Clean-up activities were held at a number of coastal areas, with the collected trash segregated for recycling. Hutchison Ports Group Managing Director Eric Ip said:

“The third year of this successful event was marked by increased levels of participation at our container terminal operations around the globe. By aligning the various green activities organised by all the participants over the course of a single week, we hope to show by example that environmental concerns are something everybody needs to work together to achieve.”

For its part over 3,000 DP World volunteers took part in Go Green initiatives across 29 countries this year, building on the past two years of successful collaboration with the world’s leading port operators to engage communities and people in promoting environmental awareness. DP World employees volunteered 5,859 hours of their time on various initiatives from cycling to work to school visits to educate local children on the environment. A total of 2,241 trees were planted during the week at tree planting sessions in schools, local areas, community gardens, protected eco-sites and terminal gardens. Over 200 tonnes of litter was collected off local beaches across the week prompting DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem to comment:

“I’m very pleased that an initiative we pioneered two years ago with just one other partner has today grown to include thousands of our fellow industry colleagues across the globe. DP World is committed to sustainability through our ongoing campaign ‘Our World, Our Future’ and we believe that working responsibly is essential to building a strong business for our customers, people and society. To build a legacy is also at the core of our business philosophy – ensuring everything we do leaves long-term benefits for the world we live in. I look forward to watching this programme flourish over the coming years, demonstrating to the world that partnerships and collaboration will help us all achieve our goals for sustainable development.”

Elsewhere for DP World business continued as normal with the news that its Southampton Container Terminal has strengthened its straddle carrier fleet by taking delivery of nine brand new Kalmar machines at the weekend, with a further eight on order. The terminal operator also announced today that it is purchasing two new super post-panamax quay cranes, each with an outreach of 24 containers, ready for delivery in 2018 which will improve the capability of DP World Southampton allowing it to simultaneously handle three of the largest container vessels afloat.

The straddle carriers arrived fully assembled onboard the vessel MV Eendracht direct from the manufacturing plant in Gdynia, Poland. This investment in DP World Southampton’s operational fleet comes just after the operator took over an extra 11.2 acres of land at the north east edge of the terminal, creating extra ground space to store containers and bringing the size of the terminal to almost 100 hectares. The new quay cranes will be taller and wider than the existing cranes on the quay. At their highest point, these new cranes will stand at 138 metres (459 foot) tall, the height of the London Eye.

Meanwhile the new straddle carriers will undergo necessary performance testing and some additional installation work before they enter operational service. The straddle carriers are ‘three and four high’ machines and more than half will have twin lift capability, giving the terminal the advantage of having more machines that are able to undertake twin discharge from beneath the quay cranes. Nick Loader, Chief Executive Officer, DP World Southampton, said:

“We are committed to investing in our infrastructure and operational capabilities to ensure that Southampton can continue to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future. Container ships are getting bigger all the time. The size of container ships importing and exporting goods around the world has nearly doubled in just under 10 years. The world’s largest container ships regularly call at DP World Southampton including the MSC Diana at 19,462 TEU. However, there are already 21,000 TEU vessels on order for delivery during 2017.”

Elsewhere DP World continues to support its London Gateway deep water port project with a £10 million contribution to road alteration schemes in Essex to install the necessary infrastructure for the new Thames side port. Thurrock Council have announced details of the road improvements which will see the A13 Stanford-le-Hope Bypass widened from 2 to 3 lanes in both directions, from the junction with the A128 (Orsett Cock roundabout) in the west and the A1014 (The Manorway) to the east.

Four bridges will be demolished to accommodate the scheme with new versions constructed alongside those being removed and capable of maintaining the increased traffic flow. It is estimated the plans will take two years to complete and they do not include demolition of any properties as had been feared by some local residents. The council estimates that, when all schemes are completed, London Gateway, coupled with the development and expansion of the Thames Enterprise Park, the Lakeside Basin and the Port of Tilbury will create 33,000 new jobs.

The new plans are independent of the current Highways England: M25 junction 30/A13 corridor relieving congestion scheme and proposals for a new Lower Thames Crossing.

Photo: Staff involved in the clean-up initiative at DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali port as part of its wider Go Green campaign.