September 28, 2010
Hamburg Süd cooperates in EPA tests of low sulfur fuels
Containership operator Hamburg Süd has been cooperating with the EPA on tests with low-sulfur fuel in Santos and the Gulf of Mexico
In late August 2010, the Hamburg Süd containership Cap Lorenzo - deployed in the service between the U.S. Gulf and Caribbean/South America East Coast - used low sulfur marine gas oil (LSMGO), with a sulfur content of 0.1 percent, while entering and departing the port of Santos. According to the EPA, it was the first test of this kind to take place in Santos.
The ship had previously tested the use of LSMGO in April 2010 in the ports of Veracruz, Altamira and Houston, in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We recognize and applaud the efforts of fleet owners, such as Hamburg Süd, who voluntarily engage in emissions reduction strategies like fuel switching," said Gina McCarthy, the EPA's Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. "EPA estimates that a ship can achieve a 95 percent reduction in sulfur dioxides and an 85 percent reduction in fine particulates when lower sulfur fuels are used."
A number of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) are now in effect, setting strict limits on the sulfur content of fuel used within them.. Since January 2010, for example, fuels used at berths within the European Union have been allowed to contain no more than 0.1 percent sulfur. As of August 2012, only fuel with a sulfur content of 1.0 percent will be permitted on the North American Atlantic and Pacific Coast, as well as the US Gulf Coast.
"We are glad that this fuel switching project will yield emissions data to show U.S., Mexican and Brazilian policy makers that real reductions can be achieved by burning lower-sulfur fuels near their coastlines," observes Michelle DePass, EPA's Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, underlining the significance of the tests. Along with Hamburg Süd, these tests were also supported by the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Mexican environmental agency Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SERMANAT), as well as the ports of Houston, Veracruz, Altamira and Progreso.
"We didn't have to think long about supporting the EPA's trials," commented Dr. Ottmar Gast, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd. "Because the fact is that protection of the environment and natural resources is an integral part of each entrepreneurial and organisational decision we take. Environmental protection is only rarely linked to major advances brought about by technological revolutions. Rather, it is the sum of many small measures which result in improvements. And that is precisely what we wish to achieve with the tests in our trade."