March 9, 2010

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.


Final Voyage Completed at Port of Muroran in Japan to Develop Advanced Ship Recycling System



"New York Highway", a pure car carrier owned by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (hereinafter called "K" Line) and Taiyo Nippon Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., arrived at the port of Muroran in Hokkaido, Japan on March 9, 2010 and completed her final duties as a car carrier. She was built in 1985 by Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. and has been employed in the transport of a huge number of completed cars throughout the world in her 156 voyages. This "swan song" voyage to Muroran was her 157th voyage but without cargo, just to transport herself to the port for a new duty involving the development of a modern ship recycling system in Japan. The recycling system is a pilot project organized by Maritime Bureau of MLITT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism) in Japan,


The Japanese Ship Owners' Association (JSA) had requested its member companies to offer ships to the pilot project from an early stage. After the Maritime Bureau's official invitation to the project, "K" Line, a member of JSA, nominated the "New York Highway" and contracted the sale of the vessel to Teraoka Co., Ltd., a member of Muroran Ship Recycling Study Group which was awarded the project by Maritime Bureau. The management of the group will be done by Japan Marine Science Inc. and Teraoka Co. Ltd. with other members executing the project.


Dismantling of ships tends to be carried out in developing countries where labor cost is low and demand for scrap steel is strong. But there has been an argument internationally that pollution to the environment and labor accidents due to unsafe operations in developing countries should be corrected. In May 2009, Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 was adopted by IMO aimed at protecting the environment and improving the safety of laborers in ship recycling facilities.


One of the most important requirements of the convention is keeping an inventory of hazardous and harmful materials onboard, showing the exact location and quantity, with such inventory to be submitted to a ship recycling facility with all updated data once the ship is handed over to such a facility.


In spite of the new convention not yet having come into effect, "New York Highway" already has proper inventory in compliance with the guidelines for the development of the inventory of hazardous materials. Her inventory was made in advance with the good assistance of the Japan Ship Technology Research Association and approved by class NK.


It is our inherent duty as a major shipping company to secure safe and environmentally friendly facilities for ship recycling after the final safe operation of our owned vessels. Actually all of the ship recycling facilities we adopted for our owned vessels have ISO 14001 Certification and are evaluated as green yards by our own audit according to K Line's Environmental Policy.


We expect that this experiment of ship recycling using our "New York Highway" will contribute to further developing a successful ship recycling system in Japan and produce environmentally friendly and highly advanced technical information that can be shared with other ship recycling industries worldwide.