Do Hong Kongers dream of electric ferries? Cleaning up Hong Kong waters

Stepping out of its role as teller of historic stories the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is rolling out its second forum on the environmental challenges faced in Hong Kong waters today. Trends in Shipping/Design: Environmental Technology will be held on 10 June at the Special Events and Exhibition Gallery.

Chaired by the museum’s director Richard Wesley and Alan Loynd of the Nautical Institute, the forum will present some of the substantive efforts being made in Hong Kong to show greater awareness of the importance of protecting our seas.

Global shipping companies say no to shark fin

Most of the major liner companies, including Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line, have voluntarily pledged to cease transporting shark-fin in face of a global collapse in shark numbers. But clearly there is more to be done.

According to Tracy Tsang, senior programme officer, Shark, WWF-Hong Kong, who will be speaking at the forum, the territory remains the most important global shark fin trading hub, accounting for some 50% of the trade annually. In 2016, 90% of shark fin by volume were imported into Hong Kong by sea.

Clearly traders are misrepresenting their cargoes. Ms Tsang will no doubt reveal how the WWF and others will be stepping up their game to abolish a cruel and unnecessary trade that so adversely impacts oceanic ecosystems.

Innovation in emissions technology

Much of the blame for the pollution that hangs over Hong Kong’s harbour has been placed on shipping. It is not a fair assessment. Levels of ship-borne pollution have fallen off considerably since the voluntary commitment to the use of 0.5% sulphur diesel in 2011, which was subsequently mandated in 2015. But more can be done both voluntarily or compulsorily. Innovation in Emissions Technology will be the subject of Dr Lee-Hung Lai’s address.

Environmental challenges, shipping solutions

On a similar theme Captain Aalok Sharma, QHSE manager at Anglo Eastern Ship Management will be examining the many environmental challenges that still face the industry, not least the unstinting flow of new regulations that will cost the industry billions of dollars to comply with. The most imminent of these is the Ballast Water Management Convention that comes into force in September this year, which some estimate will cost the industry US$60bn. A sulphur fuel cap of 0.5%, another extraordinarily expensive item, will swiftly follow the BWMC as the refined fuel costs almost double that of regular ship’s fuel.

Eco-friendly ship design

Martin Cresswell, technical director at the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, will introduce the key concepts involved in eco-friendly ship design, outlining the various hurdles such as hull friction and engine energy limitations, followed by a discussion of how ships can be designed to push the limits of the design.

Star ferry electric ferry

The last item is one close to every Hong Kongers’ heart: The Star Ferry. In his talk, Samson Leung, operations manager at Star Ferry, will discuss the hybrid World Star Ferry and outline the potential of the technology to transform the way in which one of Hong Kong’s major public transportation operators contributes to the city’s green ambitions.


Forum 2: Trends in Shipping/Design: Environmental Technology

Date: 10 June 2017

Time: 16.00 – 18.30

Venue: Special Events and Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Maritime Museum




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