Hong Kong’s Environment Protection Department will start a new program later this month to reward carriers that use cleaner fuel while at berth.
From Sept. 26, vessels will be eligible for a 50 percent reduction in port facility and light dues if they switch to cleaner fuel while berthing in Hong Kong waters, with registration by owners, operators, and agents to begin Sept. 17.
The incentive program is scheduled to last three years.
“The government has been implementing a package of 22 measures, targeting various major polluting sources, with a view to improving the air quality in Hong Kong,” Hong Kong Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said Friday. “Reducing marine emissions is one of our priorities and the launch of the incentive scheme is a step forward to achieving this goal.”
The environmental department considers cleaner fuel to be that with sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent for their auxiliary engines, boilers and generators while at berth in Hong Kong waters.
Hong Kong received around 32,500 vessel calls in 2011. The port facility and light dues are assessed based on tonnage, at $5.50 per 100 tons per call. - Eric Johnson