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China to launch ECA zones with sulfur requirements

The first of three major port areas in China will become a new emission control area (ECA) starting April 1st, from which date vessels may not have sulfur emissions of more than 0.5 percent. The Chinese environmental zones could result in more scrapping, SeaIntel projects.

Photo: Georg Hammerstein/POLFOTO/ARKIV

This spring, the Chinese authorities will launch the country's environmental zones, the first of which will come into force on April 1st. Starting then, vessels which call at ports by the Yangtze River Delta, including Shanghai, will have to use low-sulfur fuel when they are berthed at the ports, according to an update from marine insurer Skuld which cites the Chinese Ministry of Transportation. The Yangtze Delta is the first of the three areas, where vessels in the future may not have sulfur emissions of more than 0.5 percent.

The other zones will cover coastal waters near the Pearl River Delta and the Bohai Bay, just as an area will also be established in the port Tianjin. To begin with, it was announced that the regulations would be voluntary for the 11 largest ports in the three areas starting in 2016 and until 2017, from which date the rules would then become mandatory. But the latest announcement indicates that the requirements may have been pushed forward.

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