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Hong Kong Clean Fuel Requirements Come Into Effect

Hong Kong Skyline

By The Maritime Executive 06-30-2015 03:01:30

Ocean going vessels (OSVs) berthing in Hong Kong will be required to use clean fuel starting July 1.

The new Air Pollution Control Regulation coming into effect tomorrow requires ships at berth in Hong Kong to use clean fuels with a sulfur content not to exceed 0.5 percent. It also allows OGVs to use liquefied natural gas and any other fuel that can achieve the reduction of emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) at least as effectively as the use of low-sulfur fuel.

If an OGV uses technology that can achieve the same or less emissions of SO2 when compared with low-sulfur marine fuel, it may be exempted it from switching to compliant fuel while at berth.

SO2 emissions of ships at berth represent about 40 percent of the total SO2 emissions. The regulation seeks to reduce both emissions of SO2 and respirable particulates from OGVs while berthing by more than 60 per cent. This is expected to contribute to the improvement of Hong Kong's air quality and a reduction of associated health risks.

The regulation requires ships to use low emission fuel for one hour after arriving and one hour before departing. The ship’s master and crew are responsible for recording the details of arrival, departure and fuel switch operation. Additionally, all records must be maintained onboard for three years.

The master and owner of any OGV using non-compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong will be liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for six months. Those failing to record or keep the required particulars will also be liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for three months.