New EU rules impact Falmouth shipping
The port’s bunkering service suffered a significant downturn in trade during August and September.
Bunker analysts are not giving any reason but the introduction of the North American Emissions Control Area (NAECA) on August 1, a move to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping, is a contributory factor.
All ships sailing inside the 200 miles limit of North America will have to burn low sulphur heavy fuel oil with one per cent sulphur content. This means that any eastbound ships destined for Europe may already have supplies of low sulphur fuel onboard to take them to their destinations without having to make a bunkering stop at Falmouth.
Ironically, the downturn comes at a time when Falmouth MP Sarah Newton says a new deal secured by the government to reduce maritime pollution will not adversely affect the town’s port.
Mrs Newton is, of course, talking about the economic affect that the introduction of new EU regulations governing emissions from ships will have on shipping companies and indirectly UK ports.
Earlier this year, in order to tackle emissions from ships, the European Union proposed new regulations to limit the maximum percentage of sulphur present in most fuel oils to 0.1 per cent from January 2015. After considering the proposals the British government expressed concerns about the possible impact of the regulations upon the UK shipping industry and proposed a compromise that would see a more a gradual changeover to low sulphur fuels and secure greater flexibility in the implementation of the new rules.
One cross channel ferry operator has estimated that the new legislation will add about £43 million to its annual fuel bill. This, in turn, will be passed on to the consumer as more cargoes are carried by road.
Earlier this week, Mrs Newton joined parliament’s European committee to discuss the government’s position. The committee voted to support the government’s proposed compromise, which is now expected to be accepted by the European Union.
Mrs Newton said: ‘‘I was pleased to be able to consider in full the European Union’s proposals for sulphur reduction in shipping fuels, and the government’s amendments to those proposals.
“Having been assured that, thanks to the compromise secured by our government, ports such as Falmouth will not be adversely affected by the new regulations, I was pleased to give my assent to them.
“Air pollution from shipping plays an important part in global warning and it is important that we continue to tackle this by working constructively alongside the UK shipping industry.’’