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Cargill, Huntsman, Unipec to End Use of Fuel-Inefficient Vessels

Agricultural firm Cargill, a major charterer of dry-bulk ships, Hunstman Corp., and Unipec, a unit of China’s biggest oil trader, will no longer use the most fuel-inefficient vessels in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

The industrial shippers, which combined charter more than 350 million metric tons of commodities each year, won’t use vessels ranked in the lowest two of seven categories in the Existing Vessel Design Index (EVDI).

The EVDI , an emissions rating benchmarking system, is published on ShippingEfficiency.org, an initiative launched by the Richard Branson-led non-profit Carbon War Room and ship vetting firm RightShip. Cargill holds a 33 percent stake in RightShip, a firm used by 150 marine companies worldwide, Bloomberg reported.

The benchmarking system has information on more than 60,000 vessels including container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and cargo ships. Charterers can instantly see a ship’s theoretical greenhouse gas emissions and relative energy efficiency as determined by RightShip’s EVDI rated from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) compared to ships of similar size and type.

Shipping companies have focused on reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency as fuel costs rise and regulations tighten. Record fuel prices have prompted Cargill reduce vessel speeds an additional 18 percent to 9 knots in an effort to cut costs, Bloomberg reported. Talks are reportedly underway with owners of vessels hired by Cargill.

Global shipping company APL, Hyundai Heavy Industries and DNV unveiled a new hull last month the companies say will make ultra-large container ships 20 percent more fuel efficient, per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), than existing designs. The annual fuel savings will be worth about $3 million per ship to APL.

Maersk Line saved almost $90 million in energy costs over three years by measuring the performance of individual vessels, the company said in July.

Last October, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative – a group of major shipping companies including Maersk, Rio Tinto, Cargill and BP Shipping – pledged to pioneer methods for stakeholders to compare sustainability performance, in an effort to improve the industry’s environmental impacts.

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