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Counting the cost of going green

Shipping is going to have to find a great deal of money over the next few years simply to stay within the rules

Published Tue, May 6, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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LAST week, European ferry company DFDS said that one of its routes would close because it was unable to bear the extra £2 million (S$4.2 million) that meeting the Emission Control Area's 0.1 per cent sulphur limit rule is expected to cost.

The company said that the route had been struggling for a long time with high costs, loss of passengers and freight being switched to road transport, and would close on Sept 29. While this was a marginal case, many observers expect a significant number of ferry routes to close as the new rule comes into force.

It will not, of course, only be vessels that run regular services within ECAs, in Europe or North America, that will be hit. All ships trading in these areas will have to comply, and in most cases, owners or charterers will have to buy expensive distillate fuel. There has been some discussion as to whether there would be enough enforcement to ensure compliance. My money would be on port state control inspectors taking a keen interest in bunker delivery notes and tank measurements - and probably collecting samples.

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Transport & Logistics

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