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Maersk saves $500m in costs

Maersk saves $500m in costs
AP MOLLER-Maersk has saved a total of $500m in bunker costs so far this year through slow steaming and other efficiency measures.

AP MOLLER-Maersk has saved a total of $500m in bunker costs so far this year through slow steaming and other efficiency measures.

AP MOLLER-Maersk has saved a total of $500m in bunker costs so far this year through slow steaming and other efficiency measures.

The box giant, which is aiming for a 35% total reduction in terms of emissions per containership by 2017, says it has already achieved a 15% reduction through reduced fuel consumption.

The percentage reductions have been calculated relative to the amount of business conducted so the dollar equivalent cost savings are unlikely to be quite so dramatic once trade picks up. However, according to Maersk director of sustainability Soren Stig Nielsen, a further 20% reduction in emissions is entirely achievable.

?I think as trade picks up there are going to be more ships in operation so that is going to have a bearing on the savings, but we are very keen on pursuing these targets ? particularly if bunker costs are only going to rise. We will do whatever we can to drive costs down,? he told.

A reduction in the speed of vessels and amount of vessels in operation constituted the bulk of the cost savings this year, but according to Mr Stig Nielsen the company"s investment in more efficient ships is also now also starting to take effect.

?Over the last six years we have reduced our emissions per container moved by 15% and we have set an ambitious target to reduce emissions by 20% from 2007 until 2017,? he said.

?It is a combination of a number of things. Reduction in speed where we have reduced vessels down to 12-13 knots in some cases has helped but there has also been a massive investment programme in new technology that is now beginning to take effect in terms of the more efficient ships coming on stream.?

The $500m cost savings have raised interest in a sector desperately looking to cut back on operational expenditure while preparing for imminent regulatory controls on carbon emissions.

According to a recent calculation made by Citigroup, the shipping sector stands to incur ?5.2bn ($7.8bn) annual liability from future carbon emission reduction regulations.

Basing their calculation on International Maritime Organization statistics, which put global shipping emissions at 870 tonnes of CO2 in 2007, the group estimated the total cost based on the assumption that the industry would be required to pay for 20% of these emissions at ?30 per tonne, the forecast European Union carbon price in 2020.

Market analysts agree that the calculation represents a crude and inaccurate assessment of potential costs and even its authors admit that in reality the sector would adopt international offsetting and reduce emissions via fuel efficiency.

The report has, however, focussed the minds of many shipping executives in the run up to the United Nations climate change talks in Copenhagen this December.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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