WWL in Voluntary Move to Limit At-Berth Bunkers to 0.10% Sulfur in All Global Ports

Tuesday May 17, 2016

In response to what it says is a lack of global coverage of more stringent Emission Control Area (ECA) regulations, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) Tuesday announced that it has launched a new policy that requires all of its vessels to utilise bunkers with a less than 0.1 percent sulfur content, or an equivalent method of compliance, while at berth in any port around the world.

"Human life is worth the same everywhere. If WWL can follow a <0.1 percent sulfur limit at berth in one part of the world, we can adhere to the same in all ports," said Anna Larsson, Global Head of Sustainability at WWL.

"This way, we can significantly reduce WWL's impact on human health and environment where it matters the most."

While WWL says it has enforced a company policy for the past 11 years that caps the average sulfur content in bunkers at 1.5 percent, a policy that the company says has prevented the release of around 220,000 tonnes of sulfur emissions compared to the industry average over the period.

WWL says that recent research demonstrating the negative impacts of marine fuels with higher sulfur contents on human health has spurred the implementation of legislation that requires fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.1 percent in certain ECAs - regulations that WWL feels should be consistent at all global ports.

"In WWL's case, 49 of the company's 79 main trading ports lie outside the designated ECAs, and looking at ports called occasionally the number is 23 of 24," explained the company.

"With knowledge comes responsibility. As a consequence, WWL has chosen to introduce a new sulfur policy that takes into account human health as well as the environment, limiting sulfur content at berth to <0.1 percent across all ports globally."

WWL notes that compliance with its new policy will be achieved through use of Marine Gas Oil (MGO) or through exhaust scrubbers.

In April, Ship & Bunker reported that with the maritime and bunker industries eagerly awaiting a decision on whether a 0.50 percent global sulfur cap for bunkers will come into force in 2020 or 2025, Marine and Energy Consulting Limited's Robin Meech, who is also the new Chairman for the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), says the 2020 date is, now, the more likely of the two.