China announced it would implement more stringent controls on ship emissions at three key port areas starting in January. Beijing wants to reduce levels of sulfur dioxide that results in acid rain, causing respiratory problems and sometimes-premature death, according to the Ministry of Transport.
If the controls are enforced, the move would force oil suppliers to increase the supply of cleaner marine fuel, industry experts said. The ministry gave no details about how the new emissions rules would be implemented or penalties for non-compliance.
The new rules will apply to merchant ships navigating the waters of Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Bay rim, with a goal to cut sulfur dioxide by 65 percent by 2020 from the 2015 level, according to a document issued by the Ministry of Transport.
Similar emissions control areas exist in the North Sea and the North American coast.
Ships berthed at ports within the three Chinese emissions control zones will start using bunker fuel with a maximum sulfur dioxide (SO2) content of 0.5 percent from January 2016, the ministry said.
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