Friday, January 20, 2012

Maersk Become First Freight Container Shipping Line to Comply With New Low Sulphur Emission Standard

Port of Gothenburg Fuel Switch Program Begins Next Week
Shipping News Feature

SWEDEN – Next week one of the world’s largest freight container vessels, the Edith Maersk, will perform her first call to the Port of Gothenburg with low sulphur fuel as part of the port’s “Fuel Switch Program” which aims to drastically reduce air pollution by 90 percent within the port control area and improve the health of the residents of Gothenburg.

Under the program vessels will switch from standard marine fuels to ones containing less than 0.1 percent sulphur within the Vessel Traffic Area of Gothenburg, though Maersk Line states that their vessels shall make the switch six nautical miles west of Vinga, well outside the ports line of control. Maersk states that they estimate that with the implementation of the program on their vessels they expect to cut 12 tons of sulphur oxide emissions annually in Gothenburg.

Maersk Line will become the first major shipping line to conform to the new standard and is keen to emphasis the company’s interest in ways to reduce sulphur pollution from shipping.

“Maersk Line really welcomes the Port of Gothenburg fuel switch program and hopes that other Northern European ports will follow this example,” said Nicklas Viby, Senior Director Maersk Line Northern Europe Operations.

“Port of Gothenburg’s program basically maintains a level playing field while keeping it costly for polluters to continue their behaviour and at the same time providing incentives for the ones that change behaviour and take extra costs for switching to low sulphur fuel,” Viby added.

As well as fuel switch programs other measures that Maersk Line is doing that also reduce sulphur emissions are tests of biodiesel in cooperation with US Navy, use of scrubbers in cooperation with Maersk Tankers as well as reductions through reduced energy consumption.