Shipping line is first to use low-sulphur fuel at port; expects 90% emissions reduction
SINGAPORE: 12 APRIL, 2011 - NOL Group today announced a maritime milestone: its vessels will become the first to use cleaner-burning, low-sulphur gas oil in Singapore.
The decision is expected to curb sulphur oxides emissions from ships by almost 90%. Sulphur oxides are considered a key component of acid rain. Ash and particulate matter emissions could be reduced by 80% to 90%.
"We are proud to be the first container shipping line to convert to cleaner-burning fuel here," said Eng Aik Meng, President of APL, the NOL Group's shipping line. "As Singapore's largest carrier, we feel a responsibility to manage the environmental impact of global trade."
All 80 APL vessels calling in Singapore will start converting to marine gas oil at berth tomorrow. The ships make more than 900 port calls here annually.
"We greatly welcome APL's decision to switch to using low sulphur fuel in Singapore and hope that more shipping companies will follow APL's lead in doing so," said Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
APL's switch to cleaner-burning fuel beats a deadline set by the International Maritime Organisation. The deadline - adopted by Singapore - calls for reducing theb sulphur content of marine fuel to 3.5% in 2012; and 0.5% in 2020. Marine gas oil, which APL will use in Singapore, has an average sulphur content of 0.25%.
Marine gas oil is more expensive than standard marine fuel, APL said, but better for the environment.
APL began its voluntary fuel-switching programme in Los Angeles and Seattle in 2007. The shipping line has since extended the programme to Vancouver, Hong Kong, New York and New Jersey.