HAMBURG Süd has carried out a pilot project to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions in ports, with a ship burning marine gas oil instead of the standard heavy fuel oil while at berth.
Hamburg Süd’s 7114-TEU containership Santa Catarina burned marine gas oil in its auxiliary engines and boilers during layovers in Manzanillo, Mexico and Callao, Peru between 11 and 24 March.
The initiative was carried out in partnership with Hamburg Süd’s customer Electrolux, which bore the additional costs for the marine gas oil, while Hamburg Süd assumed the extra operative expenses.
Hamburg Süd CEO Arnt Vespermann said reducing emissions in the interest of environmental protection plays an important role for Hamburg Süd.
“With this project, we are showing at the same time that Hamburg Süd is employing innovative solutions to meet the unique desires of our customers, in collaboration with them.”
Electrolux vice-president, global logistics Bjorn Vang Jensen said sulphur dioxide emissions are a major environmental issue in some of the communities around port cities where the company ships its products.
“With this partnership, we are showing how the industry can move faster than legislation to improve the air quality in ports, and we hope more companies will get on board,” he said.
“This will support our ambition to improve the environmental footprint in the transportation chain, which is one of the goals in Electrolux sustainability strategy ‘For the Better’.”
In the four above-mentioned ports – unlike those in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, and unlike the North American Emission Control Areas – switching fuel from heavy fuel oil to marine gas oil is not mandatory.
Hamburg Süd’s announcement comes at a time when emissions are a hot topic in the international shipping industry.
The International Maritime Organization has mandated that marine fuel burnt by ships operating anywhere – in ports or at sea – must be below 0.5% sulphur.
Some shipping companies are turning to LNG as an alternative bunker fuel to meed these new requirements. CMA CGM recently announced it was building nine 22,000-TEU containerships that would run on LNG, which emit 99% less sulphur than conventionally fuelled vessels.