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Friday, 1 June 2018

Request for Ultra-low Sulphur Fuel to be used in Ships using Station Pier

In 2015, the NSW Government introduced regulatory requirements for the use of ultra-low sulphur fuel (0.1% or less) for cruise ships in Sydney Harbour. Concerns by residents led the NSW Government to this change. Subsequently, the Commonwealth Government assisted in the introduction of this standard by gazetting the use of ultra-low sulphur fuel under the Navigation Act. This more stringent standard has applied in most of Europe, the North Sea, within 200 nautical miles of most of the North American and Canadian coasts, the United States Caribbean Sea since 1 January 2015, and for ports and inland waterways in Turkey from 2012.

Prior to the change in Sydney, monitoring near White Bay revealed no breaches of Australian air quality standards but there were 32 breaches of the World Health Organisation’s daily sulphur dioxide limit. The monitoring program introduced by Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) in 2016-17 revealed higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide and particulate matter than at nearby EPA air quality monitoring stations, 45 breaches of the World Health Organisation’s daily sulphur dioxide limit and exceeded the Australian National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) annual average PM2.5 limit.

Since the mandating of ultra-low sulphur fuel in Sydney Harbour in 2016 there has been a dramatic improvement in air quality. There have been no exceedances of the daily World Health Organisation’s sulphur dioxide limit at nearby monitoring stations.

BCNA has written to the Victorian Government Minister for the Environment and to the Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure and Transport requesting the mandatory use of ultra-low sulphur fuel for ships using Station Pier.