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China to introduce low sulphur ECAs covering major ports in three areas

China to introduce low sulphur ECAs covering major ports in three areas
China is to introduce 0.5% sulphur emission control areas (ECAs) in major ports in three areas of the country.

China’s Ministry of Transport issued the new regulation on 2 December to set up three ECAs the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai-rim waters.

A circular from the London P&I Club said the ECAs where fuel with no more than 0.5% sulphur will need to be used include the ports of Shenzhen, Gaungzhou, Zhuhai, Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou, Nantong,Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua.

According to the club’s China correspondents, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Limited, the regulation will be enforced by most ports from the beginning of 2017 with the exception of Shanghai which is looking to introduce it from 2016.

Until the end of 2017 ships will be required to use fuel of less than 0.5% while berthing excluding the one hour before departure and arrival. From 2018 the requirement to burn low sulphur will be extended to the whole duration of berthing and from 2019 the entire time a vessel is within the ECA area.

Before the end of 2019 the Chinese government will evaluate the effectiveness of the ECAs and decide whether to reduce the sulphur content to below 0.1%, enlarge the ECAs or other measures.