SHIPPING

Old Diesel Vessels Need To Go Says Academic

Mr Nuttall is concerned because Fiji is part of the coalition of six Pacific countries to clean the region’s shipping industry to get carbon emissions to zero by 2050 as part of a US$500 million partnership.
30 Jan 2020 12:40
Old Diesel Vessels Need To Go Says Academic

Fiji should not be left behind, and be stranded with old diesel assets, says academic Peter Nuttall.

Mr Nuttall is the University of the South Pacific Scientific and Technical Advisor at the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport based in Suva.

“The old ships currently used for inter-island services are heavily reliant on diesel, are inefficient and polluting our environment,” Mr Nuttall said.

“Many of the ships we currently have are old dinosaurs, we must turn this model around and if existing operators don’t want to be part of this transformation they may end up like the dinosaurs,” he said.

Mr Nuttall is concerned because Fiji is part of the coalition of six Pacific countries to clean the region’s shipping industry to get carbon emissions to zero by 2050 as part of a US$500 million partnership.

The coalition is led by the Marshall Islands as part of the Pacific Blue Shipping partnership.

This partnership was announced on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last year with the Marshall Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tuvalu agreeing to cut carbon emissions in shipping by 40 per cent by 2030, and reducing emissions to zero by 2050.

Mr Nuttall described the initiative as an adaptation and resilience measure, to help Pacific countries change shipping to a low carbon industry.

Meanwhile, Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) who owns nine inter-island vessels is ready to work with the Government to meet the domestic shipping emissions reduction targets of 40 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.

GSL managing director George Goundar said through teamwork the target was a possibility.

“As stakeholders we should take a leading role in reducing the domestic shipping emissions,” Mr Goundar said.

Mr Goundar hopes Government assists in the maintenance of local passenger vessels.

“For instance, we need proper paint for the hull and that we should get the anti-fouling paint. This keeps the hull clean and this means less fuel which means less pollution,” he said.

“We are using the local paint which actually does not meet the criteria for international standard, we get marine growth, the vessel slows down, the vessels take longer to reach a destination and this means more pollution.”

Meanwhile, Mr Nuttall and his colleagues are working on research for Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu to develop pilot projects and parallel work in the Marshalls to deliver set targets.

“High fuel prices, an often-aged fleet and a large scattered infrastructural footprint, have always presented major challenges to both government and private sector operators alike.

“There are major systemic underlying issues with ship financing and insurance underwriting to resolve.”

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