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The China Navigation Company subsidiary has voiced its support for the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands’ proposal to the IMO for a carbon levy on shipping’s emissions and it is also planning to sign a contract for a wind-assisted vessel by the end of the month.

In a statement issued today (1 June), Swire said: ‘We believe that the upstream development of the necessary global delivery infrastructure for sustainable low or zero carbon fuels will be expedited if Market Based Measures are introduced that more realistically price our sector’s GHG emissions.’

The proposal tabled by the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Island calls for a carbon levy of $100 per tonne of CO2 equivalent.

Swire Shipping says it has already invested over $650 million over the past seven years on fleet renewal to become more carbon efficient. However, as James Woodrow, Managing Director, The China Navigation Company, commented: ‘Ultimately though we will not be able to reduce sufficiently our contribution to global warming until a sustainable alternative - low or zero carbon fuel - becomes technically and financially viable.’

In mid-2021, the company is launching its new ‘Sail Greener’ programme in which its customers will be able to offset vessel emissions on a voluntary basis.

‘However ultimately these emissions will have to be paid for by the customer on a mandatory basis,’ said the company.

Swire Shipping also gave an update on Project Cerulean, which was launched in November 2018. The initiative involves the University of the South Pacific and Swire on the development of low carbon ships which could offer a cost-effective solution for communities in the Pacific Island Communities and Territories (PICT).

According to today’s statement, the construction contract for a pilot wind-assisted vessel will be signed by the end of this month, with delivery scheduled for 12 months later.

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