Hong Kong is cleaning up its air by asking all ocean-going vessels to conform to new, cleaner fuel guidelines.
Ocean-going vessels will have to use low-sulphur fuel while berthing in Hong Kong starting from July 1, 2015.
Under the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation (Cap. 311AA), which came into effect on July 1, the sulphur content of compliant low-sulphur fuel to be used by OGVs while at berth in Hong Kong should not exceed 0.5%. It also allows ships to use liquefied natural gas and any other fuel that can achieve the reduction of emissions of sulphur dioxide at least as effectively as the use of low-sulphur fuel.
The master and owner of any OGV using non-compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong will be liable to a maximum fine of HKD200,000 and imprisonment for six months. Those failing to record or keep the required particulars will also be liable to a maximum fine of HKD50,000 and imprisonment for three months.
The SO2 emissions of an OGV at berth account for about 40% of the OGV's total SO2 emissions during its stay in Hong Kong. The Regulation will reduce the emissions of SO2 and respirable suspended particulates from OGVs while berthing by more than 60%, thus contributing to the improvement of Hong Kong's air quality and a reduction of associated health risks.