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Focus more on innovation, leading owner urges yards

Focus more on innovation, leading owner urges yards

London: Leading Asian shipyards enjoying firm prices and full orderbooks are focusing  on production, rather than innovation, Arild Iversen, chief executive of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) told journalists in London yesterday. But the industry should prepare for fuel prices of $1000 a tonne, he warned, roughly twice today's levels that would have been unimaginable a short time ago. Naval architects in the technical departments of his two shipowner stakeholders are working on super-efficient hull designs for new generation vehicle carriers making the most of the Panama Canal's intended expansion, he said. Catamaran hulls, for example, could minimise hull resistance whilst allowing hull capacities of 8-10,000 vehicle units, he said.
The WWL chief executive was speaking at the latest meeting of The Environment Club which aims to demonstrate how shipping is squaring up to its environmental responsibilities  and cutting its carbon footprint. He was flanked by senior executives from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and Jaguar/Land Rover motor cars. WWL, Iversen said, had been ahead of the game on a range of environmental initiatives including tin-free paint, ballast water treatment, green passports for ships and the use of low-sulphur fuel.
Iversen announced his company's latest initiative - the Orcelle Fund will provide $100,000  of seed capital for environmentally-oriented maritime research and development projects. The money will be focused on projects that might not get support elsewhere, he said, and would be supplemented with extra cash for promising research to be taken forward. [07/02/08]

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