SHIPPING & MARINE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong combats ship pollution

Hong Kong will force ships to burn cleaner fuel.

The government turned its fight against pollution to the hundreds of oceangoing ships whose diesel burning engines contributed to the city’s third straight year of near-record pollution.

It said soot from burning marine fuel accounted for 31% of respirable particles in Hong Kong’s air in 2008. Ship soot can contain up to 3,500 times more sulfur than that of cars with diesel engines.

The decision to replace the current voluntary program with a mandatory one is part of a series of measures Hong Kong and neighboring Guangdong endorsed to meet 2015 air emission targets.

Forcing ships to switch to the more expensive but cleaner fuel will reduce the smog that causes more than 3,000 premature deaths a year in Hong Kong.

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