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Green Shipping – Shenzhen Declaration
Green Shipping Shenzhen Declaration
A Press Conference on Green Shipping was held in Shenzhen municipal government’s information centre yesterday (24th September). The conference was attended by officials from the Human and Environment Commission, the Transportation Commission, the Maritime Safety Administration, the Energy Foundation (China). Ms Christine Loh, Under Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR government and members of the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association attended the press conference. The Association was also represented at the press conference.
Shenzhen government is learning the experience of Hong Kong’s voluntary scheme – Fair Winds Charter – and is planning to take a more aggressive step by investing RMB 200 million per year on cash rebates incentive scheme to encourage shipping companies to voluntarily switch to low-sulphur fuel (0.5% or less) or use shore power while at berth. As per a joint notice by the Shenzhen Human and Environment Commission, Shenzhen Transportation Commission, Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission and Shenzhen Finance Commission [No. 403 (2014)], ships converting to low sulphur oil during berthing period will be subsidized between 75 to 100% of cost difference between heavy oil and low-suphur oil. Implementation details will be announced at a later stage. A maximum of 30% subsidy of construction expenses will also be awarded to shore power facilities in Shenzhen which will charge ships at berth at RMB 0.7/KH for using shore power. Cost difference to market power price will be fully subsidized to shore power facilities by the government. Besides, an extra subsidy at maximum 10% of power cost difference will be awarded to shore power facilities to cover their maintenance expenses.
The incentive scheme will take effect from next month (October 2014) and will last for three years. Shipping companies that wish to use shore power or switch to low-sulphur fuel at berth should join in Shenzhen’s Green Convention and sign annual commitment letter. 23 shipping companies signed a joint Green Shipping Shenzhen Declaration at the press conference yesterday. Both the English and Chinese version of the joint declaration is attached.
The Press conference released that Shenzhen municipal government is coordinating with the central government, Guangdong provincial government and Hong Kong SAR government in the efforts of establishing a Sulphur Emission Control Area to cover the whole Pearl River Delta by 2018.
In response to the local press queries as to whether there are better and more effective ways to control marine emissions rather than spending tax payers money for the incentive scheme, officials from the Shenzhen Human and Environment Commission explained that Shenzhen is learning the international experiences including that of Hong Kong and is gradually taking a voluntary to compulsory process. Mandatory measures will be developed and applied on a regulatory basis probably soon after the completion of the first phase of the incentive scheme