Bloomberg: Maersk Line calls for ban on dirty fuel in Hong Kong
11 January 2013
Any regular visitor to Hong Kong will also be familiar with the haze covering it like a carpet on many days of the year, restricting the otherwise magnificent view from Victoria’s Peak. Hong Kong’s smog hampers more than the view of the city, however; pollution is accountable for more than 3,000 deaths every year, writes Bloomberg in a recent story on the fight to reduce emissions in the Special Administrative Region.
Maersk Line wants to “be seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem,” says Tim Smith, Maersk Line’s North Asia CEO in the article. Along with 17 other carriers, Maersk Line has voluntarily used low-sulfur oil for the last two years in a government-sponsored incentive scheme.
But voluntary schemes are not enough, says Tim Smith, calling instead for regulation: “Some carriers turn up here, they don’t switch to low-sulfur fuel, and they get a cost advantage,” he told Bloomberg. “We don’t think that’s right. What we want is the government to regulate.”
Hong Kong permits ships calling on its ports to use fuel that contains up to 3.5 percent sulfur, whereas the comparable limit in Northern Europe is 1 percent, writes Bloomberg. Maersk Line’s vessels calling Hong Kong currently run on fuel containing 0.5 percent sulfur or less.