During a well-attended press conference, Ghent's Alderman Mr. Daniël Termont received a Green Award plaque from Mr. Hans de Goeij, to mark the occasion of the official participation of Ghent. Mr. Roger Holt, secretary general of INTERCARGO, expressed in his speech the appreciation of the Dry Cargo Ship Owners for the initiative from the Port of Ghent. As from May 1st., Ghent will reward Green Award tankers and bulk carriers with 6% discount on port dues.
The speech of Mr. Holt:
" It gives me great pleasure to be with you here today. On behalf of my Chairman, Mr. Frederick Tsao, and the Executive Committee of INTERCARGO, I should like to congratulate the Port of Ghent on being the first Belgian port to achieve the status of a Green Award Incentive Provider.
Over many years, you have established your position as a dominant European dry bulk port with a movement of nearly 24 million tonnes of bulk cargo per annum. This is no small achievement. Once again you have demonstrated the pioneering spirit of this region and you have overcome the many obstacles which accompany any new initiative.
The Green Award programme under the able leadership of Mr. Hans de Goeij, Managing Director, and his dedicated team, demands support from all sides of the industry and we are delighted that Ghent has picked up the challenge in Belgium.
Daniel Termont (l), Hans de Goeij, Jan Fransen
INTERCARGO is a direct entry International Association representing quality Dry Cargo Shipowners around the world - some 800+ ships. We are delighted to be aligned with Green Award and the high standards which it sets.
We have been asked on many occasions: 'What would be your ideal incentive to encourage quality in the dry bulk industry?'
Our reply is always the same. 'You have the answer - it is called Green Award. Encourage your ports to attract good quality ships into their terminals and harbours and allow those Owners who meet the standards to be able to improve their results through cheaper voyage costs by reason of the incentives provided.'
INTERCARGO has been actively involved with establishing Green Award for Bulk Carriers and I am currently a member of the Board of Experts. Whilst Green Award started with a clear focus on the tanker industry, it is now entirely appropriate that Green Award should be looking at the dry bulk sector.
It is well known that bulk carriers over the years have had a poor reputation with regard to maintenance, structural failure and loss of life. The casualty reports which we have produced over the last 10 years for bulk carriers greater than 10,000 dwt show a substantial improvement in the casualty trend line. There are still structural failures and fatalities but the constant strengthening of the rules and regulations covering the operation of bulk carriers is having the desired effect.
I have noted that Ghent is an ISO accredited port - you are to be congratulated for that important initiative and we would like to see every port and terminal operated to that standard. There is still much work to be done in this area world-wide and to assist in providing reliable data, we keep an ongoing record of port safety for our members.
In conclusion, you have demonstrated clarity of purpose and by your action as a Green Award Incentive Provider you are making a positive statement. You are giving practical application to the business of Corporate Governance and we congratulate you.
INTERCARGO wishes you every success for the future and we trust that your hope for reduction in maritime incidents within the port area will materialise through your policy of attracting quality Owners. Well done and thank you for listening to me".