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Firms will veto curbs on pollution

South China Morning Post – 19 June 2011

On the matter of “filthy funnels” (“Laws needed on ship pollution”, June 19), I absolutely agree that Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta should enforce a no-emissions area and switch to low-sulphur fuels.

I assume you also mean to include factories in the delta region that also spew out vile stuff.

This is not going to happen soon, as too many parties are affected. Low-sulphur diesel oil is about 60 per cent more expensive than the heavy fuel oil now used, and a switch would dent shipping companies’ profits.

I seem to recall that we previously selected a shipping tycoon to run this place. We could also select a tycoon with factories spewing out viler stuff across the border.

In all places where such emission controls are in place, there is a mature democratic political system with enlightened voters who can join hands to get this measure through.

Declaring an emission-control area will open up a Pandora’s box. But emission controls could prompt a similar requirement at Shanghai and Tianjin , where the situation is similar.

Sanjay Relan, fleet manager,  Pacific Basin Shipping (SEHK: 2343,announcementsnews) (HK)

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