China expands port emissions curb
China’s Ministry of Transport has expanded a 0.50% sulphur limit for ships operating within three domestic emission control areas (ECAs) to 11 ports.
From 1 January 2017 ships must adhere to the new sulphur limits whilst berthed at Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai in the Pearl River Delta, Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou and Nantong in the Yangtze River Delta and Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua in the Bohai-rim Waters.
International risk and crisis management expert, Gard, said it understands that the Chinese authorities will accept alternative compliance methods of emissions reduction, including the use of shore power, scrubbers for exhaust gas cleaning and the use of LNG.
The current regulation applies to emissions of sulphur oxides only and there are no requirements covering the emissions of nitrogen oxides at this time.
Penalties will beimposed for non-compliance in accordance with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, Article 106.
From 1 January 2018 the requirement will be extended to all ports located within the ECAs.
Then from 1 January 2019 ships must use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% while operating within the ECAs.
Towards the end of 2019, the Chinese government will determine if stricter fuel quality requirements should be imposed in future. Under consideration is a further reduction of the sulphur limit to 0.10%.
There is no direct link between the Chinese regulation and the MARPOL Annex VI requirements for ECAs.
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