South Korea is taking steps to green its coastline with the introduction of voluntary speed limits and an impending emission control area (ECA).
The first part of the Special Act on Air Quality Improvement in Port and Other Areas is a voluntary vessel speed reduction program, which took effect last month, with ships that reduce their speeds 20 nautical miles from the country’s top five ports receiving reduced port fees.
The next stage of the new law sees the creation of an ECA on September 1 this year whereby ships at anchor in the port areas of Incheon, Pyeongtaek, Dangjin, Yeosu and Gwangyang, Busan and Ulsan must burn fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.10%.
“The changeover to compliant fuel must take place within one hour of arrival and must not change back until within one hour before departure,” the North P&I Club stated in an update to clients.
Korean sulphur-limiting regulations are likely to be expanded on January 1 2022, where all vessels must operate on 0.10% S max fuel whenever operating in designated zones around the aforementioned ports – these zones will form the Korean ECA.