During a meeting it was decided that a Mediterranean Sulphur Emission Control Area (Med SECA) is to be created by 2024, aiming to the protection of the Mediterranean region from shipping emissions.
The Government of Iceland and the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources recently published a new regulation, tightening fuel requirements in Iceland’s territorial waters. Through the regulation, the government aims to enhance improved air quality in harbors and comply with its coalition agreement and climate action plan.
To address negative effects on human health and ecosystems of maritime activities, more than 80 participants from 19 Mediterranean coastal States and European Union, as well as the IMO and the United Nations Environment Programme, other governmental and non-governmental organizations, the industry and associations, met in Malta last week to discuss several technical issues and strategic issues.
At the G7 meeting of Environmental Ministers in Metz, France, on May 6, the Italian Minister Costa met with his French counterpart, De Rugy. Among the topics discussed, it was decided to conduct a joint initiative to get the declaration of a combined SECA and NECA for the entire Mediterranean Sea. Spain has also spoke out in favour for an ECA as well.
REMPEC, the IMO-administered marine pollution emergency response centre in the Mediterranean, has concluded a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a SECA in the Mediterranean region. It found that additional costs will be needed, but health and environmental benefits would be significant.
NABU and Ecologistas en Acción found levels of contamination up to 70 times greater in the the Strait of Gibraltar and Barcelona, than the pollution on cities. Under this light, Ecologistas en Acción called the Spanish government to join France in the creation of Sulfur Emission Control Areas that limits the entry of highly polluting vessels in the Mediterranean.
Union Maritime Ltd announced that it has secured industry’s first deal with Pacific Green Technologies Marine to fit an emissions-cleaning scrubber to one of its vessels without having to pay upfront
The Swedish P&I Club advises on how to face the technical challenges of switching over from high to low-sulphur fuel when approaching a SECA. Peter Stenberg, Senior Technical Manager, Team Gothenburg, explains that to meet the requirements, a ship should already be running entirely on low sulphur fuel at the point when it enters a SECA – and the process of switching over can take at least 12 hours.
NABU has issued a new report which presents an ex-post assessment showing the first experiences under the 0.1% fuel sulphur regime. The report reveals that air pollution in the North Sea and Baltic Sea has declined considerably one year after the implementation of stricter fuel sulphur content and highlights positive impact on ship emissions. Leif Miller, NABU’s CEO notes that by using better fuels, sulphur dioxide concentration have been lowered by 50% or more and concludes that ”SECA is a European success story”
The EC supported Pilot Scrubber project will install and test new innovative lightweight scrubber technology in two Ro-Ro vessels operating in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea in low alkalinity waters with sea ice.
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