German carrier Hapag-Lloyd announced last week that it voluntarily joined the Green Convention of Port of Shenzhen in China to cut sulphur oxide emissions.
The carrier promises to use fuel with a sulphur content of less than 0.5% while its ships are docked at the terminal, according to the agreement.
“By joining the Shenzhen Port Green Convention, Hapag-Lloyd has once again demonstrated its commitment to environmental and health protection on a voluntary basis that goes beyond national and international requirements,” said Anthony J Firmin, chief operating officer of Hapag-Lloyd, in a company statement.
Hapag-Lloyd has already participated in various voluntary environmental protection programmes that promote the use of low-emission fuels while ships are in port, including the ‘At-Berth Clean Fuels’ programme in Seattle, Washington; Port Metro Vancouver’s ‘Blue Circle Award’ in Canada; and the ‘Fair Winds Charter’ in Hong Kong.
Outside the ports, Hapag-Lloyd also takes responsibility for air quality protection. Its vessels operate using fuel with an average sulphur content of only 2.1% when they are outside sea areas designated as emission control areas (ECAs), which is significantly below the current limit of 3.5% specified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). When they are inside ECAs, Hapag-Lloyd’s ships use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1%, as required.
Currently, Shenzhen Port follows Hong Kong in green port initiative, and has entered agreements with seven shipping companies including China Shipping Container Lines, COSCO Container Lines, Yang Ming Marine Transport, Maersk, Orient Overseas Container Line, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd to cut sulphur oxide emissions.
The port authority is urged to consider imposing fees on high sulphur fuels and lowering those on ultra-low sulphur diesel.