Measurements at the Port of Gothenburg show that sulphur emissions from ships have fallen by 80 per cent since stricter rules came into force at the turn of the year.
Namely, the sulphur content in fuel was reduced from 1.0 to 0.1 per cent in the short-sea shipping area around Gothenburg (Baltic, North Sea and English Channel).
The measurements are being carried out using a ‘sniffer’ located at the Älvsborg Fortress, in the fairway leading in to the port.
The sniffer has been developed by Chalmers University of Technology with support from Vinnova, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Gothenburg Port Authority. The sniffer measures the sulphur and carbon dioxide levels in the gas emissions, thus revealing the sulphur content in the fuel.
During the first few weeks of this year, the emission plume from around 200 passing ships was measured. It is estimated that 80 per cent of these were approved whilst for 20 per cent the sulphur emissions were too high.
“It is incredibly positive to see that the new rules are having such an effect and that sulphur emissions are falling. At the same time there is still uncertainty regarding the control system for vessels that are failing to comply with the rules. The industry has reason to be concerned that less serious shipping companies will not follow the rules and that this will lead to a distortion in competition,” said Edvard Molitor, Senior Manager Environment at the Port of Gothenburg.
The Port of Gothenburg voiced hope that sniffer technology will be used to check compliance with the Sulphur Directive.
Image: Johan Mellqvist, Chalmers