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Ocean vessels switch to clean fuel

June 30, 2015

From July 1, ocean-going vessels will have to use low-sulphur fuel while berthing in Hong Kong.


Under the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation, which comes into effect tomorrow, the sulphur content of compliant low-sulphur fuel used by vessels berthed in Hong Kong should not exceed 0.5%.


Vessels will be allowed to use liquefied natural gas and any other fuel approved by the Director of Environmental Protection.


The regulation requires vessels to use compliant fuel while berthing except during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure.


Shipmasters must also record the date and time of arrival and departure, and the fuel switch operation; as well as keep the relevant records and bunker delivery notes on board for three years.


The master and owner of any vessel using non-compliant fuel while moored in Hong Kong will be liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.


Those failing to record or keep the required particulars will also be liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and three months' imprisonment.


The new rules are expected to help reduce SO2 and respirable suspended particulate emissions by vessels docked in Hong Kong by more than 60%, while improving the city's air quality and reducing the associated health risks.

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