AMSTERDAM - Leading Greek operator Neda Maritime Agency Co. Ltd. has become the first ship owner to receive carbon credits through a landmark scheme developed by AkzoNobel.

A total of 13,735 carbon credits, worth around $60,000, have been presented to Neda Maritime via the award-winning program. Launched in 2014, it rewards ship owners for converting to sustainable hull coatings that improve operational efficiencies and reduce emissions.

The carbon credits were accrued by the tanker vessel Argenta, which was converted from a biocidal antifouling to a biocide-free advanced hull coating from AkzoNobel's Intersleek range, part of the company's International brand.

Neda Maritime will use its carbon credits to voluntarily offset other sources of CO2 emissions within its business. Each carbon credit accrued represents the removal of one ton of CO2 from the atmosphere, which means the company has offset a total of 13,735 tons of CO2 from its business.

Developed in conjunction with The Gold Standard Foundation and Fremco Group, the first issue of carbon credits through the scheme – worth more than $500,000 – was announced in February 2016.