House of Commons Transport Select Committee will hold an inquiry
The UK’s House of Commons Transport Select Committee has announced it will hold an inquiry into the impact of regulations limiting sulphur emissions from ships.
The organisation bringing together the shipping, ports and maritime business services sectors, Maritime UK, says the move is in repsonse to its lobbying on the issue. The news or an inquiry follows a meeting between the select committee and senior Maritime UK members earlier this year, where committee chairman Louise Ellman MP heard of the detrimental impact the IMO’s sulphur regulations, and the EU sulphur directive, will have on the maritime services sector.
The maximum permitted sulphur content in fuel burnt within IMO-designated Emissions Control Areas was reduced to 1% from 1 July last year but there will be a further reduction to 0, 1% from 1 January 2015 which is widely seen as problematic as it probably mean a large-scale switch-over to distillate fuel which already much expensive than heavy fuel oil bunkers. It is generally believed that the cost of distillate will increase significantly as the refineries struggle to meet demand.
In a submission to the Committee, Maritime UK says: “The main effect of the revised MARPOL annex VI is to increase the cost of fuel by 87% for those all ships operating in SECAs. This means annualized cost for shipping within 200 miles of the UK of up to GBP3.6bn from 2015.
Jim Stewart, Chairman of Maritime UK said: “We are delighted that the committee has agreed to investigate the impact of sulphur regulations on UK shipping, ports and maritime infrastructure.
“The regulations, which will lead to a substantial increase in fuel prices for ships in North European waters from 2015, will have far-reaching implications for all sectors of UK industry, and risk driving cargoes off the sea and on to the roads. A full committee enquiry is necessary to ensure parliamentarians understand what these implications will be.
The committee will be taking written and oral evidence in early October 2011.
Source: World Bunkering