South Korea is establishing emission control areas and issues a timeline on fuel limitations to curb emissions from shipping
Under the Special Act on Air Quality Improvement in Port and Other Areas, the South Korea Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has announced the formation of emission control areas (ECAs) with accompanying speed limits known as vessel speed reduction (VSR).
This move was already flagged up when a voluntary vessel speed reduction programme was introduced. Five major ports – Busan, Ulsan, Yeosu, Gwangyang and Incheon – were designated as VSR areas. Each area spans 20 nautical miles in radius, measured from a lighthouse in each port.
Ships that voluntarily reduce their speed (12 knots for container ships and car-carriers, 10 knots for other ship types) will have their port entry/leave fees discounted.
Forthcoming measures include:
From 1 September 2020, ships at berth or at anchor in the South Korea SECA will be required to use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.10%. Ships should complete the fuel oil change over to 0.10% low sulphur fuel oil within 1 hour after completing anchoring or mooring and will have to continue using compliant fuel up to 1 hour before completion of heaving in anchor or de-berthing.
From 1 January 2022 the South Korean sulphur-limiting regulations are to be expanded, where all vessels must operate on 0.10% low sulphur fuel oil whenever operating in designated zones around the aforementioned ports – these zones will form the South Korean ECA.
The notice specifies that scrubbers can be used and that there is no restriction on open-loop scrubber washwater discharge.
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