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New environmental zones in China indicate future open-loop scrubber ban

China will, by all accounts, announce a new environmental initiative before long. The country is expected to surpass IMO's 2020 sulfur regulations and ban the use of open-loop scrubbers within a few years, according to estimations.

AP / CHINATOPIX/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: AP / CHINATOPIX/Ritzau Scanpix

China is working on new environmental regulations, which, by all accounts, will expand the country's environmental zones, ECA, to apply to the entire east coast rather than only off the coast of major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

The new zones are expected to be stricter than IMO's 2020 sulfur regulations, and they may be implemented sooner than Jan. 1, 2020. The new Chinese regulations will most likely come into force in the first half of 2019, when vessels in the new ECA zones will be required to sail on fuel with a sulfur content lower than 0.5 percent, estimates Danish Ship Finance based on reliable sources within the country.

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