Teekay is a leading tank ship operator. A New York Stock Exchange listed company since 1995, its revenues last year were $1.82 billion.
Howard Seto, Teekay’s Manager, Environment & Quality, is responsible for environmental performance issues and research across a large fleet of tankers. He has a big job. With a fleet of 151 vessels ranging from Aframaxes, Suezmaxes, FSOs, FPSOs, LNG and LPG carriers and shuttle tankers to VLCCs, Teekay is looking to play a leading role in helping to secure a safe, clean future for tank shipping.
Horizons spoke to Howard. With MEPC 62 and a big decision on EEDI approaching, he emphasised the need for the industry to promote itself better. “We are already subject to regulations into which the industry had little input. We need to have more influence,” he said.
“Shipping has been weak at speaking with one voice. The nature of the industry is that it is very fragmented – both within individual sectors and in that it has so many different sectors. We look to our trade associations to help in this respect. For example we have been working through INTERTANKO (Howard is Chairman of INTERTANKO’s Environmental Committee) and we have encouraged a more co-ordinated approach, where we work with stakeholders, to get results.”
Commenting on the shift in focus from oil spills to air emissions, Howard said: “We have to face the facts: shipping is behind other industries in reducing the harmful effects of airborne emissions.” In the past, Teekay has successfully worked with stakeholders to reduce emissions. A leading example is its successful collaboration with other operators and the emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in North Sea shuttle tanker operations – see Horizons, June 2010, pages 40-41 – when it used systems such as absorption, condensation and KVOC technologies to help reduce local emission levels.
At corporate level, Teekay is also looking for partnerships with stakeholders. “We need more discussion and the sharing of ideas,” said Howard.
“The EEDI (which was adopted at IMO in July just after Horizons met with Howard) will be a good start but we have other important issues to address as well – notably ballast water,” he said.