Preventing Marine Pollution

Our Bilge System is being Adopted as an International Guideline

During ship operations, leaking water, oil, and other such fluids collect as an oily mixture (bilge) on the floor of the engine room and similar places. And so, in 1996, our company designed an original system whereby the amount of generated bilge can be greatly reduced and adopted the system for use on our ships as a rule. Bilge could thus be suppressed to 28 liters a day (98.4% reduction) on a containership, for example. As an environmentally conscious company, we first brought this concept to the attention of the Japanese government and later proposed it to the IMO*1 as a government-backed plan that merited expansion throughout the world's shipping industry. It was adopted as an international guideline in March 2006.

  1. *1IMO (International Maritime Organization)
    a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes intergovernmental cooperation and agreement about technical matters and laws concerning marine transportation and shipbuilding.

Installation of Double Hulls on Tankers

NYK is installing double hulls on the bottoms and cargo-tank walls of its tankers in order to minimize oil-spill damage in the event of grounding or collision. The operation of single-hull tankers will in principle be prohibited from 2010, and NYK plans to complete the installation of double hulls on all its tankers by the spring of 2009. Two of its single-hull crude oil carriers will be converted for use as iron ore carriers and begin service to China from 2008. To further improve safety, double-hull structures have been used on the fuel tanks of all crude oil carriers completed since December 2005.

Preventing accidents that pollute the Oceans

A tanker's inner bottom is subject to pitting corrosion from the salt water in the petroleum that precipitates during transport, and these pits have the potential to cause oil leakage and other serious accidents. NYK therefore launched a joint project with Nippon Steel Corporation to develop a corrosion-resistant steel and use it commercially.

Before the use of this corrosion-resistant steel, thousands of pits needing repairs were found during crude-oil tanker inspections. However, after the application of corrosion-resistant steel to inner bottom plate, no pits required any repair at inspections.

The effectiveness of this corrosion-resistant steel has been recognized internationally. Upon the 2010's revision in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty in relation to corrosion-preventive measures to cargo holds of crude-oil tankers, corrosion-resistant steel was recognized as an effective anticorrosion technology. Also, Nippon Steel Corporation and NYK Line have received the Contribution Prize for fiscal 2010 from the New Technology Development Foundation at the 43rd Ichimura Industrial Awards, which is respected for their tradition of recognizing parties who contribute to the growth of Japanese industries through the domestic development of technology.

Ship Recycle

To minimize industrial accidents and environmental pollution when vessels are dismantled, the IMO adopted a ship-recycling convention in 2009, and countries worldwide are preparing for ratification. The NYK Group is also getting ready. In fact, an inventory of hazardous materials is currently maintained on board our vessels. This inventory indicates the location and volume of hazardous materials, and will be required once the convention enters into force.
In addition to following outside requirements, the NYK Group has its own standards and policies concerning ship recycling and yard selection. We meet the IMO guidelines, and we also make efforts to ensure the stable procurement of yards, fair and safe working conditions, and environmental friendliness. For our yard selection, not only do we take into consideration possession of ISO 14001/9001/30000/OHSAS 18001, but we also confirm that environmental/occupational safety and health standards meet our requirements by visiting and inspecting the yard. At the time of actual delivery, we make use of our own MOA (Memorandum of Agreement)*2 to ensure that the vessel dismantling will meet NYK Group standards and policies. And we follow up by having the person in charge visit the yard.

  1. *2MOA (Memorandum of Agreement)
    Vessel's sale and purchase agreement

Scrapping Process