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"Speech of Mr. Adolf Adrion at the naming of "Bremen Express""

03 Mar 2008

Speech by Adolf Adrion, member of the executive board of Hapag-Lloyd AG, at the naming of the Bremen Express on March 3rd 2008 in Bremerhaven.

Mrs Herwig, Mr Herwig,
Mayor Böhrnsen,
Senator Lemke,
Chief City Councillor Beneken,
Mayor Schulz,
Ladies and gentlemen

On behalf of the Hapag-Lloyd executive board, I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to you at our event. We’re delighted that we can name our latest newbuilding here in Bremerhaven. One half of Hapag-Lloyd – North German Lloyd – was established in Bremen, and we have traditionally been very closely linked to Bremen’s ports.

We also have a very close partnership with the Bremen logistics company Röhlig, which was already a customer of Hapag and Norddeutscher Lloyd before their merger in 1970, and the cargo volume we handle for Röhlig is also still increasing year by year, a development about which we are naturally delighted. Many thanks to you, Mrs Herwig, for having accepted our invitation to name the “Bremen Express”, the latest ship in our fleet, and thereby honouring us in this special way.

A naming ceremony is always fascinating even for an old hand like myself who has spent over two-thirds of his life dealing with ships and working on board of them. The “Bremen Express” has a length of 335 metres and a beam of 43 metres and can carry 8,750 standard containers. She sails under German flag and will be deployed between Europe and the Far East, in the EU4 service. Your ship, Mrs Herwig, weighs over 37,000 tonnes with all its steel and equipment. The “Bremen Express” is thus over 25,000 times heavier than a VW Golf – and in contrast to the much lighter car, your vessel manoeuvres superbly in its watery element.

To continue our comparison with a car: filling up – or bunkering, as we call it in shipping – costs about 4.7 million dollars in the case of the “Bremen Express”. However, the over 11,000 tonnes of bunker fuel loaded is sufficient for a voyage of 23,600 nautical miles. That is equivalent to 43,700 km, or rather more than once around the equator, which has a circumference of 40,075 km.

Ladies and gentlemen, Hapag-Lloyd traditionally gives environmental protection top priority – along with safety. That’s why we recently decided to reduce the speed of our ships on most services from 25 to 20 knots, thereby cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 50 percent. The engine of the “Bremen Express” has an output of 93,000 hp to transport more than 100,000 tonnes of cargo. Despite performing this extremely heavy work, the plant has a fuel consumption that is exceptionally low per transported tonne and kilometre compared with other means of transport. What’re more, thanks to the research efforts of engine makers like MAN, the amount of fuel required by propulsion units has noticeably declined over the years. In the past 40 years, the fuel consumption of advanced marine engines has fallen by more than 35 percent related to one kilowatt hour – that is, with the same performance. Our newbuildings are all equipped with shaft generators to supply the electricity required on board during a voyage. This also saves fuel, as no separate generators have to be operated.

Hapag-Lloyd has always been a pioneer in its sector and incorporated environment-friendly innovations in its ships, even if this has meant additional costs. To give a current example: our fleet is gradually receiving state-of-the-art silicon coatings, which are free of biocide, more long-lasting and environment-friendlier. Moreover, thanks to their smoother surface they reduce fuel consumption by about six percent. The “Bremen Express”, like her sister ships, has, in addition to the main engine, four modern auxiliary diesels for generating electricity in ports. They run on ultra low sulphur diesel containing only 0.2 percent sulphur. That reduces emissions.

However, right from the start the shipyard also ensures the smooth operation of a ship by guaranteeing superb construction quality. Like our Korean partners of Hyundai Heavy Industries, which have completed the “Bremen Express” meeting the highest quality standards in a construction time of only seven and a half months. Mr. Kim, thank you very much for this excellent vessel that you and your employees have built. It’s always a special experience to see how fast a new Hapag-Lloyd ship takes shape at your yard in Ulsan. Please pass on our congratulations to your staff.

Ladies and gentlemen, at this juncture I’d also like to thank our ship management. Our employees have once again done a superb job controlling and supporting the work of building the “Bremen Express”, both on the spot in Korea and from Hamburg. Many thanks to you, Mr Firmin and Mr von Berlepsch.

Roughly three months before the end of the construction time, Captain Gühne went to Korea to familiarise himself with every detail of his future workplace and ensure that everything ran smoothly up to the delivery of the “Bremen Express” and that the ship arrived punctually in Bremerhaven for naming – despite the sand storm in Jeddah, which threatened to hold you up. Running in a large ship is always a challenge. Thank you very much, Mr Gühne and your team.

Our very special thanks go to you, Mr Schiffer and Mr Eckelmann. We don’t take it for granted that we’ve been permitted to be guests here at your very busy terminal. Eurogate is also invariably a reliable and fast partner for us in the daily handling of our ships. Many thanks for the excellent service!

I’d also like to thank all those who have worked hard to prepare this naming ceremony.

I’ve kept the most important acknowledgment to the end: I’d like to thank you, our customers. The fact that I mention you at the conclusion of my short address really has nothing to do with lack of respect. Quite the contrary in fact: without you, ladies and gentlemen, we wouldn’t be naming our latest newbuilding here today! And if I’m allowed a wish, it is that you stay loyal to us and by continuing to do business with us make many more ship naming ceremonies necessary. In return, we will guarantee you top service and quality and always adequate capacities!

Ladies and gentlemen, many thanks for giving me your attention. I’d now like to call on you, Mrs Herwig, to perform the naming ceremony.

"Speech of Mr. Adolf Adrion at the naming of "Bremen Express""

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