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Hong Kong ECA planned for Jan 2019

05 Jul 2016 10:04 GMT

Current Hong Kong law only requires ships to switch to low-sulphur fuels while berthed.



As part of its Ship and Port Pollution Prevention Special Action Plan (2015-2020), a five-year plan aiming to reduce sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 65 percent in some of China's major ports, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) of the People's Republic of China has included the waters around Hong Kong in drawing up its three national Emission Control Areas (ECAs). The ECAs are: The Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Rim.

Under the Ministry's ECA regulations, which will become active on January 2019, ships entering Chinese waters will have to switch to cleaner fuel (defined as fuels having less than 0.5 per cent sulphur content), regardless of whether berthed. Current Hong Kong law only requires ships to switch to low-sulphur fuels while berthed, allowing ships to burn cheaper fuels while they await berthing, sometimes for hours.

Simon Ng Ka-wing, chief research officer at public policy think tank Civic Exchange, welcomes the new regulations but suggests that Hong Kong go even further by lowering the allowable sulphur content to 0.1 percent, the standard of European and American ECAs.

Shipping, along with power generation, is the highest contributor to toxic sulphur dioxide emissions in Hong Kong.






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