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