Press release

“Bit Okland” wins award for eco-friendly shipping Published on 22 November 2017

bremenports presents “greenports awards” in Bremen’s parliament building

The chemical and product tanker BIT OKLAND was the most eco-friendly ship to call at the ports of Bremen last year. bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe presented the owner, Tarbit Shipping AB, with the “greenports award 2016”. During the award ceremony in Bremen’s parliament building, Howe stressed that the Swedish company Tarbit Shipping AB operates the most eco-friendly fleet that currently calls at Bremen’s ports. Howe stated, “Thanks to its numerous innovations, Tarbit Shipping is a pioneer when it comes to environmentally friendly maritime shipping. It is therefore a particular pleasure for me to present the award to this shipping company.”

The two greenports awards (for the most eco-friendly vessel and the shipping company with the most eco-friendly fleet) were presented for the fourth time this year and are intended as an incentive for shipping companies to increase their endeavours to make maritime shipping more environmentally friendly. The award ceremony took place today (Tuesday, 21 November 2017) during Bremen’s Sustainable Shipping Conference.

Tarbit Shipping currently has a fleet of 14 tankers which carry bitumen, oil products and chemicals all over the world. The company already had its product tanker BIT VIKING converted into an LNG-powered vessel back in 2011, making it the first tanker that did not carry LNG as cargo.
The shipping company also attaches great importance to energy-efficient and eco-friendly operations, for instance by using fuels with a low sulphur content even outside the prescribed SECA zones, by utilising the benefits of wind and currents when planning the vessels’ routes, by operating at speeds which reduce fuel consumption and by using LED lighting on board.

The Bit Okland, which sails under the Swedish flag, won the rank of most eco-friendly vessel and called at Bremen’s Hüttenhafen regularly last year. The 177-metre long ship operates in the North Sea and Baltic and delivers exceptionally positive environmental performance. Its low-sulphur fuel, for example, is even lower than the statutory requirements. It has continuously reduced its carbon emissions over the last few years. One outstanding feature is the installation of special technology to minimise nitrogen oxides: water vapour is injected into the combustion chamber, which reduces the combustion temperature and consequently the formation of nitrogen oxides.

As a result, the Bit Okland achieved the best environmental score of all seagoing vessels which call regularly at Bremen’s ports. This score is calculated on the basis of the Environmental Ship Index (ESI), a standardised international method for classifying ships according to their emissions. The ESI indicates the extent to which the emissions of the individual vessel lie below the internationally prescribed limits. Based on that data, the ships are then given a score which they can use to apply for a discount on the port charges because of their good environmental performance.

In 2016, the Bit Okland achieved the highest average ESI score. It was followed in the ranking by ro-ro vessel Glovis Challenge, the two container vessels MSC Oscar and MSC Oliver and the car carrier Morning Linda.

Every quarter, the ports of Bremen grant a discount to the 25 best vessels which have an ESI score of at least 40. Since the introduction of this internationally recognised environmental standard, there has been a significant increase in the number of vessels with an ESI score. Compared with only 11 per cent of all vessels calling at Bremen or Bremerhaven in 2011, this figure has now risen sharply and had already reached 31 per cent by 2016.

Robert Howe, Managing Director of bremenports, emphasised that more than 50 ports worldwide meanwhile use the ESI as a steering instrument. “In other words, we have succeeded in creating an incentive and setting standards for environmentally friendly maritime shipping, at least at the ports.” However, he added that one unresolved problem that still remained in connection with the development of eco-friendly shipping was that in international waters, vessels were still allowed to operate with crude oil, which has a particularly adverse effect on the environment. Howe: “If we are to take environmental protection seriously, we urgently have to create and enforce internationally binding regulations.”


Holger Bruns Press officer

bremenports GmbH & Co. KG

+49 471 309 01-103
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