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Carsten Lundager

Denmark pushing for NOx control areas in the Baltic and North Seas

While shipowners are still worrying about the introduction of 0.1% sulphur emission control areas (ECA) in the North and Baltic Seas from 1 January 2015, Denmark is pushing for nitrogen oxide (NOx) ECAs (NECA) covering the same areas.

“We need international shipping to deliver significant reductions not only on sulphur emissions but also NOx, this is a very high Danish priority,” Michel Schilling, deputy director of the Danish Environment Protection Agency (Danish EPA), told the Cleaner and more efficient energy shipping conference in Copenhagen.

Explaining the need for NECAs he said, “Despite the NOx limits introduced for new ships in 2011 the NOx emissions from ships are expected to increase in the coming years. This means that NoX emissions from international shipping in Danish waters exceed the total from land-based sources.”

According to the agency from the period 2007 to 2020 NOx emissions from shipping will see hardly any change while in the same period there will be “large reductions” from land-based sources.

The IMO Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has left the decisions on NECAs to the coastal states in individual areas to decide and agree upon.

“To keep up the pressure on this agenda the Danish EPA, together with my Dutch colleague, wrote to our North Sea colleagues to encourage them to go ahead with the North Sea NECA. And during the MEPC meeting next week I will meet with my Baltic Sea colleagues to discuss the roadmap for the Baltic Sea,” Schilling said.

He said it was their hope to agree on the decision for a Baltic Sea NECA next year.

Noting concerns the technology was not available to meet NECA NOx emission limits he stated: “It is our firm belief that the necessary technology is there.”

Earlier in the conference DFDS director of environment and sustainability director Poul Woodall, had commented that NOx emissions measures were “on the way”.

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