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Yuyo Steamship Co., Ltd. has been active as an expert in energy transport for more than 60 years. Here, they talk about the ballast water purification system that they installed early on to protect the marine environment.
To act against global warming, the business world is now seeking to reduce CO2 emissions not just in the manufacture of products, but also in their transport. Under these circumtances , “shipping” is gaining attention as a means of transporting freight. We are told that marine shipping outputs from one-third to one-fifth of the amount of CO2 of transport methods that use vehicles such as trucks, which are the most common methods of transportation in Japan. (*1)
Cargo vessels are able to transport large volumes of freight with low CO2 emissions which attracts both the government and business circles.
There is a growing international movement to protect our beautiful oceans in the marine freight industry, although it is capable of transporting cargo with low CO2 emissions.
The marine environment and shipping safety have been regulated and protected by international rules and regulations enacted by the IMO (International Maritime Organization).
In the 1970s oil tankers dumping the crude oil and petroleum caked inside their tanks (sludge) into the ocean became a problem. Accordingly, the IMO strengthened regulations on ships in an attempt to protect the marine environment.
Moving into the 2000s, discussion on marine “biodiversity” became more active, and there were calls to halt the destruction of ocean ecosystems.
In February 2004, the IMO enacted an international convention on ballast water.
At Yuyo Steamship, we have processed sludge from our tankers on land since the 1970s, implementing measures such as the use of bilge separators to separate the dirty water that collects below the engine room into oil and water and then draining it, in a timely manner, always working to stay in step with the IMO on marine conservation.
In 2002 or thereabouts, we heard that the IMO was going to strengthen the regulations for the treatment of the ballast water that ships take on board once they have offloaded their cargoes.
Initially I was under the impression that they were going to regulate the kelp, seaweed and small animals in the seawater, and thought that we could just cope with it by attaching the filter to the ships. But when I heard that they were going to bring in rules regarding things like V.cholera and E.coli, as well as the levels of plankton and bacteria in the seawater I thought, “This is going to be a problem!” I realized that dealing with the ballast water wasn't simply going to be a problem of equipment, and knew that we had to look for a good solution.
Yuyo Steamship Co., Ltd.
Director, and General Manager of Marine&Ship Technical Division
Mr. Kazuhiko Sato