Based on the information we gathered from your website, it seems we share many of the same sentiments regarding the environment. However, there is one notable exception; your/Ultrabulk’s actions do not correlate to the eco-friendly statements shared on your website!
On your website, you write that you are “committed to the protection of the environment….as far as reasonably possible.” Reasonably possible? That seems like an easy loophole to use whenever protecting the planet would lower your profits.
Regrettably, Ultrabulk is no stranger to using loopholes. You are currently using one to comply with the new IMO sulfur cap, relying on scrubbers in an effort to save money on fuel. According to an article in ShippingWatch, you have invested in scrubbers for a total of eight ships.
Scrubbers are dangerous. We are sure that you could name studies that seemingly demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of scrubbers. In response we too, could point you in the direction of several studies that would negate those findings, showing that scrubber washwater has had devastating effects on marine ecosystems. We could then further argue about the credibility of these studies, questioning everything from funding to sample size. In the end, it would prove absolutely nothing and that is precisely our point.
FACT: Scrubbers are a major uncertainty.
Even the IMO has encouraged further study of the impact of scrubbers on the environment. If the data is inconclusive and we have cleaner fuel available, why take the risk, especially when our future is at stake?
The answer comes down to greed.
The truth is you did not invest in scrubbers because of your desire to help the planet. You merely noticed a loophole that you could exploit for your own financial gains. You could not care less about whether or not scrubbers are safe for the environment. In the ShippingWatch article you state that you are so pleased that fuel prices have meet your expectations. As you state, “This is necessary in order to earn back the investment.” Your only concern is making money but meanwhile you claim to be so environmentally conscious…
You should be ashamed and your customers should be appalled by your willingness to put profits before the planet.
Many mistakes have already been made in the journey to combat climate change. Scrubbers could prove to be one of the biggest mistakes yet. It would go down in history and you and all your customers would be, embarrassingly, right in the center of the controversy. We should be learning from past mistakes, not repeating them. The use of scrubbers may be clouded with uncertainty, but clean fuels are not. You can bet that we will be persistent in our efforts to not only discourage the use of scrubbers, but also to discourage shipping with companies that use scrubbers. After all, as far as the rest of the world is concerned (including your customers, bankers and their customers) both parties, ship owners and their customers alike, are equally responsible for such an egregious act.
The bottom line is clean fuel can’t be plan B because there is no planet B!
The Environmental Protection Alliance