Maritime industry to shift to LNG | Sunday Observer

Maritime industry to shift to LNG

The maritime transportation sector will explore the possibility of optimising efficiency of vessel engines and shifting to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) which will result in low carbon emissions. This in turn will help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Consultant Marine Solution and Assistant Vice President International Relations Foreign Projects and Local Branches, Capt. Peshala Medagama told the gathering at the P.B. Karandawala Memorial Lecture 2019 in Colombo last week. He said dedication and consistency in everything one does is critical to achieve SDGs.

“The maritime sector has taken many steps in helping achieve the SDGs through measures to reduce the carbon foot print. This sector has the lowest carbon foot print when it comes to cargo transportation. We are aiming at having smarter and greener ships in the future,” Capt. Medagama said, adding that the sector has embraced all globally accepted safety standards.

He said there are 169 targets to be achieved under 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations which focus on social and environmental aspects. Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

Ending poverty in all its forms, ending hunger, ensuring healthy lives and promotion of well-being for all, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality are the first five SDGs.

“Around 90 percent of the world trade is carried by ships. Around 10.7 billion tons of cargo was transported through the maritime and shipping sector in 2017. Thus, making freight rates affordable is crucial to support the achievement of the SDGs,” Capt. Medagama said adding that the maritime sector is committed to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

He said the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), the international convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships, 1973, modified by the protocol of 1978, and by the protocol of 1992 (MARPOL) form a major part of maritime affairs governed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Taking the case of an oil spill he said there should be processes in line with the globally accepted standards, equipment to collect the spill, and trained personnel with shore facilities to collect and dispose of the spill properly.

“The more hydrogen is burnt the wider would be the carbon foot print. From the time the vessel is designed the material to be used to build it, and the amount of fuel it will consume must be looked into,” Medagama said, adding that the Ballast Water Management Convention or the BWM convention which requires signatory flag states to comply with standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments plays a pivotal part in achieving the SDGs.

“We have championed the cause of promoting gender equality. The Fiji Maritime Academy is a model for gender equality as the academy produced the first lady Master Mariner,” Capt. Medagama said.