Conservation of Ocean Environment
By rigorously ensuring safe operation, the MOL Group is working to prevent marine pollution caused by marine accidents. At the same time, the Group is taking into consideration biodiversity and actively pushing ahead with measures to protect the seas and oceans, which are not only our place of business, but also the shared heritage of everyone on Earth.
- Recycling Scheme for Special Lashing Belts Used in Car Carriers
- Approaches to Marine Environmental Protection
- Ship Recycling Issues
- Stepping up Initiatives on Marine Plastic Waste
Recycling of Lashing Belts Used in Car Carriers
In 2015, MOL developed a unique program to recycle used "lashing belts," which hold vehicles in place aboard car carriers. A recycling company in Oita Prefecture separates the belts into plastic and metal parts. The plastic is used as secondary fuel, and the metal is turned into scrap that can be reused.
Approaches to Marine Environmental Protection
World-first to Adopt "NSafe®-HULL" to Ensure Superior Collision Safety
In a world-first, MOL adopted highly ductile steel plate NSafe®-HULL, developed by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, for a newbuilding vessel. NSafe®-HULL plates absorb side impact to the hull three times more effectively than conventional steel plates, thereby reducing the risk of cracks in the hull and significantly increasing the safety of the vessel. For the new vessel, use of NSafe®-HULL for the sections such as the side plates of cargo holds and fuel tanks, where hull strength is especially critical, will improve puncture resistance to help prevent flooding, protect cargo, and prevent serious oil leakage damage to the marine environment.
Processing of On-board Waste, Waste Oil, and Bilge
- On a vessel, which is also a home for seafarers, the same type of garbage as a household, plus various waste unique to ships, such as loading and packing materials, is generated. On our operated vessels, based on the MARPOL Convention, we draw up on-board waste management plans requiring separation, collection, storage and disposal of on-board waste. Waste management officers supervise this process, and work to build thorough awareness of the plan among officers and crew members. Food waste and other biodegradable trash are ground into small particles and disposed of in specified areas of the open sea, and plastic waste is disposed of appropriately on land.
- Fuel oil for vessels contains many impurities. Water and other contaminants are extracted by pre- treatment before the fuel is used in engines and other equipment. Waste oil containing water and impurities from pre-treatment is heated in a special tank to remove water, and then incinerated in conformity with environmental regulations.
- In a vessel's engine room, bilge water (waste water containing oil) is generated by leakage from seawater pipes and equipment and during maintenance work. We have introduced a bilge source separation system that categorizes bilge water in three stages according to the presence of oil, and collects and disposes of it properly.
Ship Recycling Issues
Aged vessels need to be scrapped from the viewpoint of both safe operation and marine environmental protection. In May 2009, the IMO adopted the Hong Kong Convention for the purpose of solving scrapping-related issues, and the ratification process is moving ahead. The convention prohibits or limits the content of stipulated harmful substances aboard throughout the life of the vessel, and requires ship owners to create, maintain, and update an inventory list including the amount and locations of harmful substances aboard. The inventory list is provided to the recycling yard when the ship goes out of service.
We select environment-friendly recycling yards in conformity with the Hong Kong Convention. We check a broad range of items through site inspection including whether a particular yard's environmental management meets ISO 14001 or equivalent standards, and whether scrapping methods and procedures meet acceptable requirements such as environmental protection, occupational safety, and human rights.
The MOL Group was one of the first to start preparing inventory lists to ensure a smooth response to the requirements of the convention. We share information related to ship recycling as well as conditions at recycling yards.
Stepping up Initiatives on Marine Plastic Waste
'Plastic Smart' Forum
MOL participates in "Plastic Smart" initiatives which hosted by Ministry of the Environment of Japan to address the issue of the marine plastic waste problem as an action to protect the marine environment.
Marine plastic waste, which is generated in bulk on a daily basis all over the world, remains in the ocean for a long period of time, and is regarded as a global-scale environmental pollution issue.
The "Plastic Smart" initiative is a platform among the companies and organizations that are interested in reducing marine plastic waste.
MOL to Cooperate in Marine Plastic Survey
MOL will cooperate in a scientific survey related to marine plastic pollution, hosted by the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
JAMSTEC will collect plastic waste in the waters on the course of the 2019-2020 Japan-Palau Goodwill Yacht Race" (organized by the Kanagawa Prefecture Sailing Federation, among others), which will be held as part of the 25th anniversary of Palau's independence and 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between Japan and Palau. It will analyze the results, and aims to contribute to scientific knowledge on the issue.
The racing yachts and accompanying ships will leave Yokohama on December 29, 2019, this year, setting their course for Palau, a straight-line distance of 1,726 nautical miles.