The Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) in February stated Taiwan’s seven international commercial ports implemented 0.5% sulphur control measures on January 1, 2019 for vessels that sail international routes – a year ahead of IMO 2020.
These measurements have significantly loweredair pollution in port areas; reducing sulphur dioxide (SOx) emission by 6,454.83 metric tonnes (40.38%) and PM2.5 pollutants (particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) by 287.48 metric tonnes (22.32%) when compared to 2018.
The MBP stated for ocean carriers to become accustomed to the new sulphur regulations, it first implemented incentive measures at the Port of Kaohsiung on February 1, 2018 and expanded the measures to seven international ports on July 23, 2018.
A green subsidy for vessels using low sulphur fuel was implemented towards the end of 2018, and the MBP reported a total of 2,097 applications were submitted in 2018 with incentives reaching NT$34,535,000 (USD 1,135,366).
In order to ensure a smooth transition for vessels sailing on international routes to use low sulphur fuel oil, MPB partnered with China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation to provide compliant fuel at international commercial ports in 2019.
The MPB stated all of its flag state and port state inspectors have also received the same training as member states of the Tokyo MoU to verify visiting vessels use low sulfur fuel oil.
In 2019, a total of 988 vessels were inspected and 25 violations were found, including not using compliant fuel, missing fuel slip or record, incomplete procedures, and incorrect equipment operation.
The MBP notes that of 114 domestic vessels sailing on international routes, 97 vessels have switched to compliant fuel and 17 vessels have installed scrubbers to comply with regulations.
However, it states the effects of open-loop scrubber on water are still being discussed extensively by relevant authorities.
The MPB indicated that it will continue to monitor the latest developments worldwide and resolutions of the IMO for any developments.
It also stated it will closely monitor the water quality in harbours, amend domestic maritime regulations and environmental protection laws in a timely manner to protect citizens’ rights.
Photo credit: Maritime and Port Bureau Taiwan
Published: 23 March, 2020
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