N. American ECA Causes Significant Bunkering Downturn at UK Port

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday October 29, 2012

Bunkering at the UK's Port of Falmouth saw a "significant downturn" in August and September, with the introduction of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) contributing to the drop, according to local newspaper the Falmouth Packet.

Since the ECA's August 1, 2012 introduction effectively meaning all ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. and Canada coastline must use a marine fuel with a sulfur content not exceeding 1.00% by weight, the report said eastbound ships headed for Europe may already have low-sulfur fuel on board meaning they have no need to stop at Falmouth before entering the European ECA.

The port is also anticipating possible impacts from the introduction of the European ECA's stricter 0.1 percent sulfur limit that comes into effect in 2015.

In August a UK Shipping Committee warned that the new rules "could have a serious impact on both the local, regional, and national economy" and raise fuel costs by as much as 87 percent for ships operating in the ECA.

However, Falmouth MP Sara Newton has said the new limit, if implemented gradually and with some flexibility, as the British government has suggested, will not hurt the port.

"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," Newton said.

"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."