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Policy Address

Vessel Emission Reduction

140. In 2011, marine vessels were the largest source of respirable suspended particulates, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. In particular, the emissions of ocean-going vessels at berth accounted for about 40% of their total emissions within Hong Kong waters. In September 2012, the Government launched an incentive scheme to encourage ocean-going vessels at berth to switch to low-sulphur diesel. We are also considering bringing in new legislation to enforce the requirement of fuel switch at berth. We plan to submit our proposal to this Council in the next legislative session following the completion of consultation with the maritime sector. Meanwhile, we are stepping up our efforts with the Guangdong Provincial Government in exploring the feasibility of requiring ocean-going vessels to switch to low-sulphur diesel while berthing in Pearl River Delta ports. Also, the first berth of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will be commissioned in the middle of this year. We plan to seek funding approval from this Council to install on-shore power supply facilities for use by cruise vessels with such facilities. This will enable cruise vessels to switch to electric power while berthing and hence minimise their impact on air quality. We are also promoting the use of cleaner fuels among local vessels. We have conducted relevant tests and consulted the relevant sector.

NewOcean Energy Secures Two-Year Contract from HKSAR Government to Supply Quality Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel to Government Fleets

Download PDF : p130106

Maersk Wants Port of Hong Kong to Ban Dirty Fuel

Maersk Wants Port of Hong Kong to Ban Dirty Fuel

Maersk Line, the world’s largest container-shipping company, has threatened to stop using cleaner fuel at the Port of Hong Kong if the government doesn’t mandate higher quality oil for carriers in the city.

Without rules, shipping lines that burn polluting fuel benefit from cheaper costs compared with Maersk, which uses a cleaner fuel that is also more expensive, Bloomberg reported, citing Tim Smith, head of the company’s North Asia division.

Government incentives for switching to cleaner fuels for shipping lines at Hong Kong — the world’s third-busiest container port — don’t cover additional costs, and payments are often delayed, Smith said.

Maersk and 17 other operators have voluntarily used low-sulfur oil for the past two years to help curb Hong Kong’s pollution, the worst among global financial centers, Bloomberg reported.

By Transport Topics

Low-sulphur diesel fuel for ships in Hong Kong should be compulsory

Submitted by admin on Sep 26th 2012, 12:00am

Comment›Insight & Opinion

SCMP Editorial

From today shipowners and operators can claim a 50 per cent reduction in port facility and light dues for switching to low-sulphur diesel while their vessels are docked in Hong Kong. The potential sacrifice of port revenue is a drop in the harbour when you consider that a five-year study attributes at least 519 deaths a year in the Pearl River Delta region, including 385 in Hong Kong, directly to sulphur dioxide emissions from ships, not counting deaths from the long-term health effects of exposure.

Making it compulsory to use low-sulphur fuel would have been a better option, as other major ports have found. Failing that, the three-year incentive programme is one government giveaway that few would object to, since it would save lives and help contain shipping costs. It follows the launch in 2010 of a purely voluntary scheme by 17 shipping lines that expires soon.

Given the co-operation so far of owners, operators and agents, it seems scarcely believable that the new scheme could be scuttled bygovernment red tape, such as applying afresh for the subsidy each time a vessel calls here, and lodging certified documents including engine log books by specific deadlines after a ship has departed. A shipowners’ spokesman asks whether they should pay money to comply with bureaucratic and sometimes impossible procedures to qualify for a subsidy that covers only part of the cost of the fuel switch.

While ship emissions are responsible for only 18 per cent of sulphur dioxide in the city’s air, they reach residential areas easily because they are released at a lower level. Think tank Civic Exchange estimates 3.8 million people are at risk of excessive exposure. Untangling the red tape seems like a case that should be delegated to new environment undersecretary Christine Loh Kung-wai, founder of think tank Civic Exchange, which conducted the five-year study of health effects jointly with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Science and Technology. Hopefully she can convince the government to make the fuel switch mandatory rather than risk losing shipowners’ co-operation with a half-baked solution.


Sulphur dioxide emissions

Low-sulphur fuel

Ship emissions

Source URL (retrieved on Sep 26th 2012, 5:52am):…/EA_Panel_20120528c_eng.pdf…/ea/…/ea0528cb1-1949-5-e.pdf

shipping in HKG waters contributes:

31% of Hong Kong’s respirable suspended particulates / 23% of SO2 / 27% of NOx