The latest edition covers news stories related to air and water pollution within the shipping and maritime industry.
At Neural Alpha, we have been thinking about Air and Water pollution at sea. This notoriously challenging topic to track has profound ESG implications. Our new product, Responsible Capital News Screen, examines news stories worldwide (and at sea!) to identify reported ESG Events, such as bilge dumping, oil spills or stranded vessels. News screen identifies mentioned physical assets as well as their owners, enabling ESG professionals within asset management, banking and corporates to incorporate news flow into universe construction, monitoring & engagement, due diligence / screening and risk management requirements at scale without compromising on precision and context.
This month’s blog highlights five of the more important ESG Events of December relating to waterborne physical assets. You’ll note that each article has relevant ESG themes/concepts automatically extracted, as well as geospatial information to enhance analysis.
The Bahamas government imposed emergency measures to prevent further pollution following the incident and the resulting oil spill off the coast of the Caribbean island. The new measures included the deployment of ocean booms and skimmer boats to help seal the leaking fuel vents in the submerged vessel. The ship was transporting steel from Finland to New Orleans when it started taking water before eventually running aground near the Hole in the Wall Lighthouse.
Ownership information The Onego Traveller is owned by German-based Intersee Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG.and registered in Antigua and Barbuda.
A ship carrying fuel from Chittagong Port to the Padma Oil Company depot sank in the river Meghna raising major concerns about the effects this could have on the local environment. Efforts to rescue the ship were unsuccessful, with one official noting that “due to dense fog, the oil carrier ship could not be salvaged.” Activists have claimed that the spill has spread at least one kilometre, putting the flora and fauna in the river’s water in danger, as well as threatening to kill microorganisms in the river and destroy biodiversity.
Ownership information The vessel is owned by SHR Navigation, a multi-modal transportation conglomerate in Bangladesh.
The Kiel Canal in Germany was closed for a week after over 3000 gallons of oil were spilled into Brunsbuttel harbour in following a burst pipeline. The strategic waterway — connecting the North Sea with the Baltic — is a key shipping route in the region and, at one point, at least 30 ships were queued up and waiting for the canal to reopen. According to reports, the oil slick spread over a stretch of water four miles in length with about 150 volunteers needed to mitigate the spill and reopen the canal.
Ownership information Dintelborg, one of the ships rerouted due to the canal closure, is owned and managed by Wagenborg Shipping based in the Netherlands.
Concepts Aquatic life, oil spill, water pollution, river biodiversity, environmental damage
The December verdict was reached after about 1000 gallons of oil were released into the water near Pointe d’Esny, a known sanctuary for rare wildlife, when the MV Wakashio ran aground in July 2020. The captain and his first officer were sentenced under the 2007 merchant shipping act for their role in the incident which sparked an ecological emergency and prompted a Greenpeace source to warn that many species were “at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution.”
Ownership information The MV Wakashio was owned by Okiyo Maritime Corp., an associate company of Nagashiki Shipping Co., and was operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.
The Yu Feng 67 — A Taiwan-based trawler — has run aground on the St Brandon archipelago. With over 70 tonnes of fuel onboard there are fears that this could cause another environmental disaster in a region where the MV Wakashio disaster is still a recent memory. Officials had set-up a crisis committee in the Mauritian capital, St. Louis, to coordinate a response to mitigate any ecologically damaging consequences.
Ownership information The vessel is owned by Lee Tsang Fishery Co. based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Neural Alpha is an award winning London-based sustainable fintech consultancy specialising in applying AI and Data Science to ESG requirements. Neural Alpha develop bespoke ESG data products and software applications for Investment Managers, Banks and NGOs to tackle complex ESG risks hidden by conventional ESG scores, complex legal structures and opaque supply chains.
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