The German ports Bremen and Bremerhaven have cooperated in a campaign to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping, along with more than 80 companies, organisations, politicians, NGOs and explorers.
bremenports signed the Arctic Commitment to eliminate heavy fuel oil in Arctic shipping, and called other ports to join as well.
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Robert Howe, CEO of bremenports GmbH & Co. KG., said:
Sustainability is a central element in bremenport’s strategy. We have implemented numerous projects under the label ‘greenports’, some of which have won international awards. In order to reduce local air pollution, we will soon bring into service a LNG-powered barge for dredged material. In addition, sustainability and environmental issues are integrated into bremenport’s public outreach.
Launched in January 2017 by the Clean Arctic Alliance and expedition cruise ship operator Hurtigruten, the Arctic Commitment aims to protect the Arctic from the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil, and calls on IMO to ban its use and carriage as marine fuel by Arctic shipping.
An HFO ban has already been enforced in Antarctic waters, since 2011. In July 2017, the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed IMO member states’ action to identify measures to mitigate the risks of HFO spills, during the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC71).
Commenting on this, Dr Sian Prior, lead advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, mentioned:
With the IMO’s MEPC72 meeting coming up in April, we are encouraged to see major maritime operators like bremenports supporting the banning of the use and carriage of HFO as ship fuel in Arctic waters. A ban is the simplest and most effective mechanism for mitigating the consequences of a spill and reducing harmful emissions. With many countries – including Germany – now backing a ban on HFO from the Arctic, we hope to see other ports join Bremenports in becoming Arctic Commitment signatories, to help build understanding of the HFO problem, and increase the momentum to end its use by Arctic shipping.