Green Wa­ter­way

En­vi­ron­men­tally friendly reg­u­la­tion of the ship­ping in­dus­try boosts the prospects of the re­gion along the Yangtze River

Beijing Review - - NATION - By Li Qing

It has been a usual sight that the lux­ury liner Ma­jes­tic Princess op­er­ated by Car­ni­val Group, a global cruise com­pany, sits charg­ing at the Wu­songkou In­ter­na­tional Cruise Ter­mi­nal in Shang­hai.

“Through the shore power sys­tem of the ter­mi­nal, 10,000 kwh of power can be sup­plied for the Ma­jes­tic Princess,” Ma Chao­hui, Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor of the ter­mi­nal’s en­gi­neer­ing man­age­ment de­part­ment, told Eco­nomic Daily. Shore power can help ships re­duce their emis­sions by mov­ing away from us­ing oil to gen­er­ate en­ergy.

“De­vel­op­ing a shore power sys­tem for a green port is just one of the projects for ecofriendly ship­ping con­ducted by the China Mer­chants Group (CMG),” Fu Gangfeng, Di­rec­tor and Group Pres­i­dent of CMG Ltd., a state-owned en­ter­prise whose tra­di­tional busi­ness is ship­ping along the Yangtze River, told Xin­hua News Agency.

The shore power sup­ply sys­tem at the Wu­songkou Ter­mi­nal has been in use for a year and has al­ready con­trib­uted to 23,000 tons in re­duced emis­sions.

The Yangtze, China’s long­est wa­ter­way, is one of the busiest rivers in the world. In 2017, 2.5 bil­lion tons of goods were de­liv­ered along this west-east wa­ter route, one of the rea­sons why the river has be­come known as a golden wa­ter­way.

Ship­ping on the Yangtze

The 11 provinces and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties which are in­cluded in the Yangtze River Eco­nomic Belt have nearly 120,000 ships, pro­vid­ing more than 2 mil­lion em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Yangtze ship­ping in­dus­try. Ac­cord­ing to data from Peo­ple.cn, ship­ping on the Yangtze pro­duces more than 120 bil­lion yuan ($17.9 bil­lion) in prof­its an­nu­ally.

Com­pared to other meth­ods, trans­porta­tion via wa­ter has both ad­van­tages in cost and trans­port ca­pac­ity, as well as green ben­e­fits, by sav­ing power and re­duc­ing emis­sions, said Tang Guan­jun, Di­rec­tor of the Changjiang River Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Nav­i­ga­tional Af­fairs, in an in- ter­view with Out­look Weekly.

But the ship­ping lanes of the Yangtze have also caused se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems. Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the Min­istry of Ecol­ogy and En­vi­ron­ment, 60 per­cent of in­land ves­sels are dis­trib­uted in the lower reaches of the Yangtze, most of which use marine fuel, a ma­jor source of pol­lu­tion along the wa­ter­way. More­over, pol­lu­tion caused by in­dus­trial ac­ci­dents, do­mes­tic sewage dumped by ships and heavy metal sed­i­ment from the bot­tom of ves­sels have also had a detri­men­tal ef­fect on the river’s ecosys­tem.

In the Three Gorges area, diesel power gen­er­a­tion emits around 10 tons of sul­fides, 4,000 tons of car­bon ox­ides and 3 tons of PM2.5 an­nu­ally, pos­ing a se­ri­ous risk to the air qual­ity and eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment of the re­gion. One of the rea­sons for this se­vere pol­lu­tion is a com­mon phe­nom­e­non in dam ar­eas: wait­ing lock­age, which re­stricts the ef­fi­ciency of the Yangtze wa­ter­way.

Although the Three Gorges Lock is in con­tin­u­ous op­er­a­tion, in 2017, there were 614

Yan­gluo Port, an im­por­tant port in the mid­dle reaches of the Yangtze River

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