The government of Hong Kong is planning to impose the use of cleaner marine fuel for ocean-going vessels operating within the region, effective as of July 1.
The Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation will be gazetted March 13, and it will require the use of low-sulphur marine fuel (sulphur content not exceeding 0.5%), liquefied natural gas and any other fuels approved by the Director of Environmental Protection.
It 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.
Shipmasters and ship owners must record the date and time of fuel switching and keep the records for three years.
If an ocean-going vessel uses technology that can achieve the same or less sulphur dioxide emission when compared with using low-sulphur marine fuel, the vessel may be exempted from fuel switching.
Shipmasters and owners who fail to switch fuel face six-months’ jail and a HKD 200,000 fine (USD 25,765), while those who fail to keep records face three-months’ jail and a HKD 50,000 fine (USD 6,440).
The new regulation will cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 12% and respirable suspended particulates by 6%, improving air quality and reducing health risks, according to the release issued by the government.