Starting from September 26, 2012, ocean-going vessels (OGVs) will be eligible for a 50 per cent reduction in port facility and light dues if they switch to cleaner fuel while berthing in Hong Kong waters. This incentive scheme will last for three years.
The owner, operator or his agent of OGVs joining the scheme should first make a one-off registration for their vessels with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). The registration exercise will commence on September 17. Upon registration, eligible OGVs can apply for a reduction in port facility and light dues for every port call to Hong Kong under the scheme with the Marine Department (MD) starting from September 26.
"The Government has been implementing a package of 22 measures, targeting various major polluting sources, with a view to improving the air quality in Hong Kong. Reducing marine emissions is one of our priorities and the launch of the incentive scheme is a step forward to achieving this goal," the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said today (September 14).
Mr Wong said, "Under the incentive scheme, OGVs will enjoy a 50 per cent reduction in port facility and light dues by switching from bunker oil to fuel with sulphur content of not more than 0.5 per cent for their auxiliary engines, boilers and generators while at berth in Hong Kong waters. This incentive scheme will help reduce vessel emissions and improve the air quality around the port area. We encourage shipping liners to join this green shipping scheme."
In his 2012-13 Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary announced the initiative to reduce by half the port facility and light dues charged on OGVs using low-sulphur fuel while berthing in Hong Kong waters. In 2011, about 32,500 calls to Hong Kong were recorded. They are subject to port facility and light dues based on their tonnage at $43 per 100 tons for every port call to Hong Kong.
Additional details on the program are found on the Web sites of the Environmental Protection Department and Marine Department.