As part of measures to improve air quality, Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has commenced the acceptance of applications for registration under the Extended Port Facilities and Light Dues Incentive Scheme for ocean-going vessels (OGVs) switching to cleaner fuel, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), while at berth in Hong Kong.
An EPD spokesman said, “The switch to cleaner fuel (i.e. low-sulphur marine fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or other approved fuel) for OGVs at berth will become mandatory on July 1 this year, following the Legislative Council’s approval of the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation this April.”
He added, “Hong Kong is the first Asian city to require OGVs to switch to cleaner fuel when at berth. To maintain Hong Kong’s port competitiveness, the incentive scheme has been extended for 30 months to March 31, 2018.”
On July 1, the scope of the current incentive scheme will be extended to cover not only OGVs using low-sulphur fuel (sulphur content not exceeding 0.5 per cent) but also those using LNG or approved fuel or technology that can achieve sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission reduction as effectively as the use of low-sulphur fuel while at berth.
All registrations under the current scheme will expire on September 25 this year. Owners, operators or their agents of OGVs registered under the current incentive scheme should apply for registration for the extended incentive scheme before September 26 this year if they would like to enjoy the port facilities and light dues concession.
OGVs generally run on heavy fuel oil with sulphur content of up to 3.5 per cent. SO2 emissions from OGVs at berth account for about 40 per cent of the total SO2 emissions within Hong Kong waters. Switching to cleaner fuel while at berth can reduce total SO2 emission in Hong Kong by 12 per cent, which can help to improve Hong Kong’s air quality, particularly around the port areas.
For more details about the extended incentive scheme, visit the EPD’s website at www.epd.gov.hk.
(Source: Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong )