The Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) today (10th) stated that Taiwan’s seven international commercial ports began implementing control measures on January 1, 2019, one year before the international convention takes effect, for vessels that sail international routes to use low sulfur fuel oil. These measures have proven effective and significantly improved the air pollution at the ports, reducing SO2 emission by 6,454.83 metric tons (40.38%) and PM2.5 by 287.48 metric tons (22.32%) compared with last year (2018).
The MPB pointed out that in response to the threat of air pollution to people’s health and the environment, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) stipulated that vessels must use low sulfur fuel oil with sulfur content less than 0.5% of weight, or use devices or alternative fuel with the same emission reduction effect starting on January 1, 2020. For ocean carriers to become familiar with the low sulfur policy and vessel operations, Taiwan first implemented incentive measures at the Port of Kaohsiung on February 1, 2018, and expanded the measures to seven international ports on July 23. Incentive measures was implemented to the end of 2018, and a total of 2,097 applications were submitted in 2018 with total incentives reaching NT$34,535,000. This has achieved the goal of guiding shipowners to actively improve the air pollution at commercial ports, and successfully aligning vessels with international standards. Furthermore, in order to make it convenient for vessels that sail international routes to use low sulfur fuel oil, the MPB coordinated CPC Corporation to provide compliant low sulfur fuel oil at international commercial ports starting in 2019, and to provide full supply in 2020.
The MPB indicated that flag state and port state inspectors of Taiwan have received the same training as member states of the Tokyo MoU to verify visiting vessels use low sulfur fuel oil. A total of 988 vessels were inspected in 2019 and 25 deficiencies were found, including not using low sulfur fuel oil, missing fuel slip or record, incomplete procedures, and incorrect equipment operation, in which there were four violations of not using low sulfur fuel oil. Total fines of NT$400,000 were imposed in accordance with Article 66 of the Commercial Port Law. Overall, inspections found good use of low sulfur fuel oil.
There are 114 domestic vessels that sail international routes, 97 vessels have switched touselow sulfur fuel oil and 17 vessels were installed with equivalent emission reduction devices (scrubber) to comply with the convention, and all vessels meet international standards. However, the effect of open-loop scrubber on waters is still being extensively discussed around the world. The MPB indicated that it will continue to monitor the latest developments worldwide and resolutions of the IMO, and will closely monitor the water quality in harbors, amending domestic maritime and environmental protection laws and regulations in a timely manner to protect citizens’ rights.
Contact person: Vessel Management Division Chief Huang Yu-Hsin
Contact number: 02-89786291 0933-843-435