Marine and port-related air pollution in Hong Kong

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #7126

    Email from Civic Exchange:

    Civic Exchange yesterday (17 June, 2008) released a new report, entitled Green Harbours: Hong Kong and Shenzhen – reducing Marine & Port-Related Emissions. This report, which was based on extensive consultation with stakeholders from both government and the private sector, highlights the fact that many private sector port operators and ship-owners have already taken voluntary measures to improve environmental performance, and are willing to do more. However, there is a need for the Government to create a level playing field for all, so that slow implementers do not reap competitive advantage from non-action. The report also outlines case studies of best practice from European and US ports and proposes a framework for the Governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen to take the lead in setting strategies for emissions reductions.

    A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the Civic Exchange website:

    A copy of the presentation can also be found on the website:

    Related reports:
    Marine Emission Reduction Options for Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region
    A Price too High: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution in South China


    Bloomberg news item tells of it being ok to burn dirty ship fuels in Hong Kong. Includes:

    Vessels calling at North Sea and Baltic ports must use fuel containing no more than 1 percent sulfur to cut emissions estimated to cause at least 60,000 deaths a year worldwide. Ships steaming into Hong Kong are free to burn less costly 3.5 percent sulfur oil, which means they account for a growing share of the city’s air pollution and threaten the health of more than 25 million people in China’s Pearl River Delta.

    So-called Emission Control Areas are either in place or will be for almost the entire U.S. coast by August, as well as ports in the English Channel, North and Baltic Seas. Ships entering those zones must use 1 percent sulfur fuel now and will have to switch to 0.1 percent by 2015. Under International Maritime Organization rules, all ocean-going vessels will have to burn 0.5 sulfur at sea by 2020.

    Hong Kong is “fully determined” to tighten standards “as soon as possible,” said Pearl Ng, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Department.

    There were 63 container ships able to carry more than 5,000 units, in Pearl River waters on April 3, the data show.

    At those kinds of concentrations, the ships’ engines consume energy at rates similar to the biggest power stations, said Simon Ng, a researcher into marine pollution at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Unlike power stations, their emissions aren’t regulated beyond the IMO’s sulfur-content cap of 3.5 percent — 3,500 times higher than the auto diesel sold in Hong Kong.

    Ship pollution in Hong Kong made up 23 percent of sulfur dioxide and 27 percent of nitrogen oxides, gases whose health impact is greater than earlier thought, based on new data, said Hak-kan Lai, assistant professor in the school of public health at Hong Kong University.

    Policy changes have been hindered by a “lack of political will” together with “delay tactics and denial,” Lai said.

    Ship Smog Seen as Next Target to Clear Hong Kong Skies




Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.