Four Chinese ports led by Shanghai will request vessels to switch to fuel with no more than 0.5% sulphur content from October 1, 2018.
Move is three month ahead of Beijing’s plan to expand its coastal emission control areas to cover China’s entire territorial waters from January 1, 2019
Several key ports at China’s Yangtze River Delta have decided to tighten shipping emission controls from October, three months ahead of the nationwide schedule.
Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou and Nantong will apply a 0.5% sulphur cap on vessels entering their ports, effective from October 1, 2018, according to announcements made by their respective port authorities.
Ships can choose between using compliant fuel or installing exhaust gas cleaning systems onboard to meet the regulations.
Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan are among the largest ports in China as well as in the world. The two ranked the number one and four busiest container ports on Lloyd’s List latest One Hundred Ports list.
The move comes after Beijing made a proposal to the public in July to expand its coastal emission control areas to cover China’s entire territorial waters from January 1, 2019.
At present, there are three ECAs in China, where merchant vessels are required to burn fuel with no more than 0.5% sulphur content when on berth.
The trio cover waters surrounding the Yangtze Delta, Pearl River Delta and Bohai Gulf — the economic powerhouse situated at the middle, south and north of China’s 34,415 km coastline, respectively.
Vessels are also encouraged to use shore power at available ports at the ECAs.