Gard.no has released an alert stating that China has added further requirements for the Sulphur content of marine fuel for vessels operating in Shenzhen Port from October 1st 2016, whereby they must use marine fuel with a Sulphur content of below 0.50 in Port. The change is part of China’s long-term environmental plan to reduce pollution and improve air quality, by reducing the quantity of Nitrogen and Sulphur in the air by 65%.
There are eleven ports designated as ‘Emission Control Areas’ ECAs and the requirements apply to all vessels that are navigating, anchoring and operating in these zones, excluding naval vessels, fishing and sport boats. The rules will be further extended from January 1st 2018, when vessels docking at any port within the ECA will be subject to the requirements and liable for any subsequent enforcement.
Vessels must begin using compliant fuel within one hour of their arrival in a port berth until not less than one hour prior to their departure. From January 1st 2019, vessels are required to use low Sulphur fuels when operating in any of the ports in the ECAs, with fuel change-over to occur prior to arrival in port. Use of ‘scrubbers’ shore power and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) is permissible to meet the requirements, although such use will obviously need to be maintained whilst under sail, rendering at least one of these options useless.
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