Mar.12--SULPHUR emission rules that will affect UK shipping in 2015
could lead to the loss of over 2,000 jobs and cause the price of road
diesel to rise.
A UK Chamber of Shipping report, which the
chamber says is the first of its kind to go into such detail, suggests
that much more freight would be moved by road, leading to increased
carbon emissions, route closures, job losses, and increased road
The cost of road diesel would increase by 2.8p per
litre, and freight and passenger prices on vessels will rise, in some
cases by up to 29%.
In less than two years new regulations will
force owners in northern Europe to use a marine fuel that has a sulphur
content less than 0.1%.
For most vessels this will mean a switch
to more expensive distillate fuels. The rules come from the
International Maritime Organization and the European Union.
chamber’s report is in response to a ministerial meeting last year that
asked for an assessment of the effect the rules would have on UK
UK Chamber director of safety and environment David
Balston said owners do not question the need to reduce sulphur emissions
from shipping, but believe the speed that the owners are expected to
meet the targets, at huge cost, is still a concern.
He said the
the root of problem was the financial and environmental costs of
low-sulphur fuel. Concern has been raised in the past over the ability
of owners to use liquified natural gas as a fuel and to install exhaust
gas cleaning systems.
Using liquefied natural gas as fuel is
only suitable for certain newbuildings, and the industry has questions
about the viability of scrubbers.
The chamber will present the
report to a ministerial meeting on March 20. Mr Balston said the report
reflected owners’ concerns, but added that concern within the UK was
over a small number of routes that were at risk of closure.
additional concern for government ministers is how the rules could
hinder the ability of international manufacturers to establish plants in
“Some areas will become less attractive due to fewer
routes to the European mainland,” said Mr Balston, hinting at decisions
that car makers and other industries would be forced to make.
chamber is pushing for some of these routes to be exempt from the 2015
deadlines, at least until 2020 when shipping operating outside an
emission-control area will be subject to an emission drop.
national shipowners’ associations, including those in Denmark and
France, have also spoken out about the need for some routes to be exempt
from the 2015 deadline.
Mr Balston said the proposal to allow
route exemptions will not influence competition as many routes
identified in the UK as being at risk are unique, without any other
operators on them.
The problem facing the shipowning
organisations will be to convince national political leaders to agree to
their concerns and to then propose, both at the IMO and in Brussels, to