Good for the environment! No risk of oil pollution fines! Reduced operating costs!April 02, 2012
Can this all be true? If you are like the majority of global ship owners using oil lubricated white metal propeller shaft bearings, the cost of aft seal maintenance and the risk of oil discharges from a stern tube is always present. However, if you look at Canadian bulk carrier owners, Algoma Central Corp. and Canada Steamship Lines (CSL), both are benefiting from the decision to use the pollution free propeller shaft bearings systems on their new ships. The two Canadian companies have now ordered 13 ships from Chinese shipyards that will operate with seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings and are publicly promoting the decision in the press. Do you remember the stern tube oil leakage from a Geek-owned bulk carrier in 2010? Here is the synopsis… Stanships, Inc., headquartered in Athens, Greece, was charged and pleaded guilty to presenting a false Oil Record Book to the U. S. Coast Guard, and for discharging lubricating oil from the stern tube of the M/V Doric Glory into the navigable waters and contiguous zone of the United States. According to the plea agreement, STANSHIPS paid a US$700,000 criminal penalty, a $525,000 fine and a separate $175,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Fund earmarked for the purpose of funding habitat conservation, protection, restoration and management projects to benefit fish and wildlife resources and the habitats in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Stanships will also serve three years’ probation and as a condition of the probation, the company must be in compliance with all requirements of an Environmental Compliance Plan. Algoma and CSL won’t have any worries about this. Not sure about most of the other commercial ship operators out there today.
Craig Carter, Canada