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Hong Kong implements clean bunker fuel law

LNG Industry,

The Hong Kong government has announced that vessels will need to switch to low-sulfur marine fuel, such as LNG, by 1 July 2015.

The government released a statement saying that the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation will be brought to the Legislative Council on 18 March. The regulation requires ocean-going vessels to use clean fuels while berthing in Hong Kong, in an attempt to improve air quality.

Compliant fuels required by the regulation are low-sulfur marine fuel (sulfur content not exceeding 0.5%), LNG and any other fuels approved by the Director of Environmental Protection.

The regulation prohibits ocean-going vessels from using any fuel other than compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong, except during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure.

If an ocean-going vessel uses technology that can achieve the same or less sulfur dioxide emission when compared with using low-sulfur marine fuel, the vessel may be exempted from fuel switching.

Shipmasters and owners who fail to switch fuel face a jail sentence of up to six months, and a fine of up to US$200 000.

The new regulation will cut sulfur dioxide emissions by 12% and particulates by 6%, improving air quality and reducing health risks.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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