Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Seattle Port Keeping, Revising Fuel Incentive Program

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle said March 31 that it will continue and modify a program that provides incentives to ocean carriers and cruise lines to burn low sulfur fuel while moored in Seattles harbor.

This year, the ABC Fuels Program is changing to a “per metric ton” incentive for vessels that achieve early compliance with 2015 ECA requirements to burn less than 0.1 percent sulfur fuel while at berth. The incentive payout depends on the amount of fuel burned and could be as much as $7,400 per qualifying vessel call.

The program, now in the fifth of a scheduled five years, applies to qualifying vessels in port through Dec. 31, 2014.

The port has offered its At Berth Clean (ABC) Fuels program to ship owning customers who qualify since 2009. The program encourages voluntary reduction of vessel emissions in the harbor by incentivizing use of low sulfur fuels above and beyond the Emissions Control Area requirements.

“ABC Fuels is one of the Port of Seattle’s most effective environmental programs,” Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman said. “By providing incentives to burn low sulfur fuel while berthed at port, we’ve been able to remove over 835 tons of pollutants from Puget Sound air.”

Since 2009, participants have received more than $3 million in incentives to burn low sulfur fuel while at berth in Seattle, and the program has eliminated more than 830 metric tons of sulfur dioxide emissions, according to the port.

More than 1,274 vessel visits representing eight container lines – APL, COSCO, Evergreen Line, Hamburg Sud, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk Line, Matson Navigation, and OOCL – have participated in the program from 2009 to 2013. Four cruise lines – Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines – have also participated in the program.