Shenzhen Port joins clean air crusade

Shanghai began dealing with its ship emissions in April this year

Shenzhen Port will adopt higher requirements on vessels using low sulphur content fuel not exceeding 0.5% while berthed. The initiative will come into effect from 1 October, after formal notice is given to stakeholders at the end of this month.

The move by Shenzhen Port follows similar actions taken by key ports in the Yangtze emissions control area including Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou and Nantong on 1 April.

In the Pearl River Delta, Shenzhen is going it alone for the time being. Other ports in the region are expected to adopt similar stringent fuel quality requirements at berth from 1 January 2017.

Reportedly Shenzhen Port includes ten berths fully equipped with shore power facilities, which vessels can employ during berthing as an alternative to burning low sulphur fuel.

Some critics have pointed to the preponderance of coal or oil burning power stations in the region that by powering the onshore facilities would negate the eco-friendly intentions of the port.  But with very few containerships having been equipped with the necessary means of employing onshore power they are not likely to get much use in the foreseeable future.

Hong Kong has been a pioneer of reducing ship emissions in the region since it introduced Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) Fuel at Berth) Regulation Cap 311AA , which mandated the use of low sulphur fuel not exceeding 0.5% from 1 July 2015. This followed an earlier voluntary fuel-switch scheme adhered to by 17 shipping companies under the Fair Winds Charter from 2011.

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