Shipping Incentives Pushed by Hong Kong Government: Hong Kong is concerned with the marine water quality under their territory and has initiated an incentive scheme to attract ocean going vessels (OGVs) to switch into cleaner fuel while berthing in its waters. Under this scheme, ocean-going vessels will enjoy a 50% reduction in their light and port facility dues, if and only if, they decide to switch to cleaner fuel during their berthing in Hong Kong marine territory.
Under this scheme, participating OGVs are expected to use fuel that contains only sulphur content of no more than 0.5% for their generators, boilers, and auxiliary engines while laying at berth in Hong Kong marine jurisdiction. If this becomes successful, the Government believes it will significantly reduce the vessel emissions; thus, improving the air quality around the port.
To begin, the owner of shipping vessels or his representative has to make a one-off registration of its vessels with the Environmental Protection Department, which was opened last September 17. OGV’s is then given the privilege to apply for cost reduction with the light and port facility fees in all the port of Hong Kong in cooperation with the Marine Department beginning September 26. This incentive scheme is to last for three years and is expected to motivate more OGV operators to start being eco-friendly with their selection of fuel use and shipping vessel.
In the past year, Hong Kong port received approximately 32,000 OGV calls. All of which were subject to the regular light and port facility dues implemented by the land equivalent to $43 per 100 tons to each port call. The inviting incentive scheme designed by the government is indeed something to look forward to by OGV companies because it will most definitely cut their expense, yet support the global awareness to reduce pollution in both the air and water of the world.
Both the Marine Department and the Environmental Protection Department are doing their best to protect the waters of Hong Kong. Several ordinances like the Merchant Shipping Ordinance as mentioned in Cap 413 and Cap 414, and the Bunker Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Ordinance as mentioned in Cap 605 have been previously approved, released and implemented to lessen harm to its waters. The first move done by the Government to guard the marine wealth of the nation.
On the other side, the Environmental Protection Department is active in monitoring the sources of pollutants under Hong Kong Territory. It is doing its best to improve the air and water quality of the region, without compromising the current business position it has earned in the global community. It has been always open to all its report concerning the current environmental condition of the country and is motivated to do the same in the years to come.
Considering the joint initiatives of these departments to help improve and safeguard the quality of air and water in Hong Kong, it is showing the world that growth and progress can be achieved without compromising the eco-system. One should simply need to find methods on how both the industrial industry and nature can live harmoniously together.