In order to lessen air pollution caused by sulfur oxides and other pollutants emitted by vessels in commercial ports, on January 31 and February 1, 2018, the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) held separate explanatory meetings, in Taipei and Kaohsiung respectively. Relevant responsible units were invited to explain to shipping businesses how Taiwan is moving ahead of schedule and enacting specific measures requiring a switch to low sulfur fuel oil by vessels entering international commercial ports. There was spirited discussion with businesses regarding adjustments to vessel facilities, domestic fuel supplies, methods of verification, laws and regulations, and methods of reward.
The public in Taiwan has recently been concerned with matters of air quality, especially air pollution problems in Kaohsiung City. To reduce emission of sulfur oxide pollutants from vessels in commercial ports, the Maritime and Port Bureau of the MOTC gathered together the Environmental Protection Administration, the Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Ltd., the CPC Corporation, Taiwan, and the CR Classification Society to hold the explanatory meeting for the northern region, and to educate shipping businesses. According to the stipulations of international agreements, vessels on international shipping lines must completely move to using low sulfur fuel oil (with sulfur content of 0.5% or less) by January 1, 2020. However, in order to improve air quality in a timely way in regions where ports are located, and in accordance with Article 75 of the Commercial Port Law, the MOTC gave advance notice on January 25, 2018 that Taiwan would implement across-the-board use of 0.5% sulfur low sulfur fuel oil by vessels on international shipping lines, approximately one year in advance of international agreements, beginning January 1, 2019. In addition, as of February 1, 2018, rewards have been enacted for vessels on international routes entering the Port of Kaohsiung. It is hoped that once commercial shipping businesses sufficiently understand the effects of sulfur oxides and relevant methods to be employed, they will join together in implementation. By improving the air quality of the environment near port areas, we can work together to resolve air pollution problems in Taiwan.
In addition, in order to more fully reduce air pollution problems in commercial ports, the MOTC has established the Specific Enactment Methods for the Port of Kaohsiung Pollution Reduction Strategy. These include reducing vessel speeds, moving vessels to use of low sulfur fuel oil, increasing high-voltage shore-side electricity usage rates, and other air pollution prevention methods. Based on the preliminary draft of the International Commercial Port Air Pollution Prevention Plan, and after follow-up procedures by the MOTC have approved the Plan, the Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Ltd. will notify the various commercial shipping businesses regarding how to comply and apply for low sulfur fuel oil use rewards.
On February 1, the MPB will hold the southern explanatory meeting on the 4th floor of the Passenger Building in the South Taiwan Maritime Affairs Center (No. 2, Gushan 1st Road, Gushan District, Kaohsiung). Shipping businesses in the southern region are enthusiastically welcomed to attend.