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SSA adds voice to calls for greener fuel

Singapore: The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has cautiously welcomed the Intertanko proposal to IMO that the shipping industry should consider switching to distillate fuels in order to reduce sulphur emissions. But it has also called for a detailed feasibility study noting special concern about the short timeframe laid out for the change.

SSA outlined its position at a special media briefing yesterday, attended by leading officials Ong Kok Wah, md of Chuan Hup Agencies Pte Ltd; Patrick Phoon, deputy md, Evergreen Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd; and Joe Ng, md of Stellar Shipmanagement.

SSA backs the idea of a global fuel regulations - as opposed to the current policy of Sulphur Emission Control Area hotspots - but believes it is critical that an in-depth feasibility study precede any serious multilateral implementation, taking in costs, yard space and the refitting of vessel engines. Potential increased costs to the consumer should also be considered, it believes, as well as the impact on the environment of increased production of distillate fuel. Of overriding importance to such a study, believes SSA, should be the input of operators, engine manufacturers and oil producers.

Before yesterday's meeting, SSA president SS Teo had commented: "We believe the Intertanko proposal... represents an interesting and worthy idea. We welcome any initiative which would help cut sulphur emissions and therefore help save our precious environment. [13/12/06]

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