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AMEC: low sulphur targets will cost 'thousands' of jobs

London: Thousands of jobs could be axed and large amounts of business lost in the effort to reduce maritime sulphur emissions in line with 2015 targets, says a report by AMEC.

The report cited the threat to 2,000 maritime service jobs in engineering, navigation, catering and customer services, as well as many more industrial jobs.

Highlighted was the choice shipowners would now face between using low-sulphur fuel at a cost of $300-more per tonne; using “not sufficiently proven” scrubber technology; or switching to LNG, which was deemed “unfeasible” for the existing fleet.

AMEC asserts that the knock-on effects of meeting the requirements will be evident on land as well as at sea, with the cost of road diesel increasing by 2.8p (4 US cents) per litre. While the cost of sea freight would increase, the measures could result in a net increase of carbon emissions, as companies switch to road freight rather than sea.

“We fully support the need to reduce sulphur emissions from ships, said David Balston, director of safety and environment at the UK Chamber of Shipping, “but we are particularly concerned that many routes will become non viable and for those vessels operating on them we seek transitional arrangements, including very tight time limited exemptions to allow technology to catch up and provide a realistic alternative.

“We must protect our maritime jobs and the environment – this report shows these regulations do neither”.

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