China enters a new low-sulphur shipping era
(Eco Business, 13 May 2020) Establishing emission control areas has prepared China for global sulphur restrictions, but challenges remain.
The global shipping industry is shifting to low-sulphur fuel in response to global calls for cleaner shipping . At the start of the year, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) lowered the sulphur content limit in ships’ fuel oil from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent. Since 1 March, the carrying of fuel oil not meeting the tougher standard has also been banned, all under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Ships fitted with a sulphur scrubber, or exhaust gas cleaning system, are still allowed to carry and use heavy fuel oil, since this apparatus can keep emissions to within the new limit. The changes are expected to see sulphur oxides emissions from global shipping drop by 77 per cent, thereby reducing health issues including asthma, stroke, lung cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.