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Wei Jiafu reveals nuclear power preference

Wei Jiafu reveals nuclear power preference

Shanghai: In an extraordinary question and answer session here in Shanghai the boss of the world's largest shipping conglomerate has advocated the use of nuclear power onboard merchant ships.
Outlining the container alliance CKYH's decision to push ahead with super slow steaming, COSCO ceo and president Capt Wei Jiafu said that the move was in part a green one. He then went on to say that he was in favour of using nuclear power onboard merchant ships as a further green initiative. 'As they are already onboard submarines, why not cargo ships?' he mused. Later he spoke to Seatrade Asia Online and revealed COSCO is in talks with the national nuclear authorities to develop nuclear powered ships.
Earlier that morning Wei had said as much as 40% of the global total orderbook is under threat. Wei's prediction is far higher than most analysts' at present. He was speaking at the Senior Maritime Forum coorganised by UBM and Seatrade at this year's Marintec China. Citing 'financing and cash flow problems in medium and small sized corporations' since the outbreak of the financial crisis, Wei said that his 'personal feeling' was that 'about 40% of newbuilding orders will be postponed or cancelled this year and next year'. COSCO, itself, has cancelled 126 bulkers and postponed the delivery of a large swathe of boxships by one to two years.
Wei attacked those who had speculated on the FFA markets in the past, saying that forward freight agreements were originally intended 'to balance risk', but fell prey to speculators in the bull market. Now they have reverted to more cautious times, with Wei observing, 'People are handling this business more rationally.'
In his speech, which opened Wednesday's session, Wei also heaped praise on fellow Chinese owner, Gao Yanming, who heads up Hebei Ocean Shipping Co (HOSCO). Gao called earlier this year for owners to scrap older ships, convert ship types, and postpone or cancel deliveries. 'He played a big role in promoting the world shipping community to eliminate old tonnage and ease the pressure of oversupply capacity,' Wei said.  [2/12/09]

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