Ships carry ballast water to provide stability and adjust their trim for optimal steering and propulsion. However, ballast water often originates from ports and other coastal regions, and can be rich in plankton and other marine organisms. The discharge of ballast water from vessels can transfer organisms between different marine ecosystems, which can be harmful to the ecological balance.
To ensure proper handling of ballast water, Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC has adopted the IMO guidelines on ballast water management. All Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC vessels have ballast water management plans and logs onboard. We use the minimum amount of ballast water, and we carry out mid-ocean exchanges.
To further reduce the impact of ballast water, Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC has introduced a ballast water transfer system on some vessels. This enables internal transfer between ballast water tanks ? minimising the uptake and discharge of ballast water into the marine environment.
In addition, we carefully observe port regulations in all countries, and we work closely with the developers of ballast water treatment systems.
Vessel operation inevitably generates waste, particularly oily waste, rubbish and sewage. To counteract this, a waste management programme has been implemented throughout the Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC fleet to ensure that all types of waste are reduced and handled in a responsible manner. Moreover, shorebased waste reception facilities are being evaluated based on environmental performance to ensure waste is handled in an environmentally responsible manner after it leaves our vessels.
The treatment of fuel oil prior to combustion leads to the generation of sludge. Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC is currently developing a sludge handling unit to remove all water from sludge, thereby reducing the amount of sludge oil that is discharged ashore.
To reduce the discharge of oily water, we began installing new polishing filters in the oil-water separator on all Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC vessels in 2005. This initiative will ensure that oily water is treated as effective as possible, resulting in effluent concentrations below 5 parts per million (ppm), well below the regulatory requirements of 15 ppm. In addition, all our officers receive specific training in proper handling of oily waste.
Moreover, air-seal based stern tube systems are implemented on all Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC new buildings, eliminating oil releases from the stern tube to the sea thus reducing the discharge of oil to the sea further.
Each Each vessel has a garbage management plan onboard, and separation of garbage is carried out on all vessels. This allows for the recycling of garbage, such as glass and aluminium, which helps to reduce both resource use and pollution. Garbage is always handled in compliance with regulations. In fact, we go one step further by not disposing of non-biodegradable garbage at sea.
Preventing OilÂ Spills
The safe operation of ships is a high priority for Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC. Recognising that accidental oil spills at sea may cause significant harm to the marine environment, we continuously take necessary actions to prevent environmental incidents. Our crews are trained in safe navigation of vessels, our operational procedures are geared toward safe vessel operation, and we have contingency plans in place to deal with emergency situations.
To reduce the risk of oil spills further, all Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC new builds contracted since 2003 have been designed and delivered with inboard protected fuel tanks.
In the case of an incident, our Casualty Committee, which consists of key stakeholders from dedicated technical and operational areas within the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, is called into action to ensure measures are quickly taken to minimise environmental impacts. Drills are carried out periodically to ensure emergency procedures are up-to-date and functioning efficiently.
Ships travel faster through water and consume less fuel when their hulls are clean and smooth – free from organisms such as barnacles, algae and molluscs. Antifouling paints are applied to hulls to limit the growth of such organisms, increase speed and reduce fuel consumption.
In the past, antifouling hull paint contained tributyltin (TBT), a toxic product. Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC began phasing out TBT in 2000, all our vessels are TBT free complying with IMO antifouling convention. Unfortunately, even TBT-free paint contains some biocides. As these chemical agents can harm living organisms, Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC has, since 2003, done more to protect the environment by applying biocide-free, silicone-based paint to our hulls. Today, more than 50 Royal Gulf Shipping & Logistics LLC vessels are painted with this environmentally friendly silicone-based foul release coating. The application however stopped due to the development of a slime layer and fast decrease in efficiency of vessels with silicone-based paint.
We are in continuous dialogue with paint suppliers and are currently testing second generation paint on a handful of vessels.