The initiative is all about China Navigation Company Ltd, CNCo’s efforts to record vital information to help further understanding of the transfer of CO2 between the atmosphere and the oceans. This system, SNOMS (Southhampton, Ocean Monitoring System) uses an all-purpose cargo ship (40,000t) to collect scientific data as it circles the globe, i.e. a ship of opportunity. SNOMS monitors conditions and provides scientific data.
The data collected is used to improve shipping performance in various areas of fuel, external painting, retrofitting and propeller efficiency.
Amongst ship owners, the China Navigation Company Ltd, CNCo, has established a leading position on environmental stewardship. CNCo’s leadership is demonstrated by its unilateral decision to only use ultra-low sulphur fuel when entering Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta area. It is hoped that this small action by CNCo will encourage other ship owners to do the same and will encourage Hong Kong SAR government to provide incentives to burn alternatives to heavy fuel oil.
CNCo was also amongst the first Hong Kong ship owners to begin measuring its emissions and environmental impact, and publish them annually in an admirably clear report. This report also details the numerous other initiatives that CNCo has in place to reduce its impact on the environment. E.g. advanced paint systems, wake ducts, propeller boss cap fins, fuel efficiency managers, weather routing. This report is published on CNCo’s website, www.cnco.com.hk, along with details of other initiatives and information on the environmental features of our new build ships, which we believe set a new standard of efficiency. Mention should also go to Swire, National Oceanographic Centre, Southhampton, Ocean Monitoring System, SNOMS. The monitoring system, paid for by a grant from the Swire charitable trust, is fitted to the CNCo vessel the Pacific Celebes, and records vital information to help further understanding of the transfer of CO2 between the atmosphere and the oceans.
This idea to use SNOMS came from Dave Watkins. He was inspired to take action by a belief that oceans control climate so we must know what’s going on out there and also respect it. To do this, he has had the support his company and has used his 28 yrs of experience at sea. Dave currently holds the position of Fleet Safety & Security and Environmental Manager at the China Navigation Company Ltd.
It is a little too early to know the effect of this initiative on the environment locally in Hong Kong, although there does appear to be a change in attitude towards HK harbour and fuel use. Nationally (China) Swire education committee is donating money for a Chinese Mainland PhD student to expose China to and work with CNAC (shipping companies). Internationally SNOMS has given data for the North Atlantic, and the La Nina effect was recorded documenting 7% increase in atmospheric Co2 in the South West Pacific.
Dave feels the SNOMS project will benefit the world. He wants to see more monitoring of cargo ships and to market these efficiency ideas to other shipping companies. He would like to team up with WWF to monitor migration patterns of mammals and birds, and in the future, he would like to do presentations to schools and the marine community. He would also like to embark on a new global environmental management system for all ships and officers.