Hong Kong Government is to bring into effect a new regulation mandating the use of clean fuels by ocean-going vessels (OGVs) while at berth, in order to reduce emissions.
The Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation will be gazetted this week, the government said.
With this regulation, OGVs will be required to use low-sulphur marine fuel with sulphur content of less than 0.5%, liquefied natural gas, and any other fuels approved by the Director of Environmental Protection.
An Environmental Protection Department spokesman said: "The regulation prohibits OGVs 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.
"If an OGV uses technology that can achieve the same or less emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) when compared with using low-sulphur marine fuel, the OGV may be exempted from switching to compliant fuel."
The majority of OGVs operate on heavy fuel oil with an average sulphur content of 2.6%, and the estimated SO2 emissions of an OGV at berth is about 40% of the total during its stay in Hong Kong.
This new development is expected to minimise the total emissions of SO2 and respirable suspended particulates by 12% and 6% respectively.
After implementation of this rule, powering an OGV using non-compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong will incur a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for six months.
The government also asked shipmasters and ship owners to record the date and time of fuel switching and keep the relevant records for three years, adding that non-compliance will attract a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for three months.
Image: Port Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong. Photo: courtesy of WiNG.