Seoul - South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has begun its “Vessel Speed Reduction Program” as an effort to reduce fine dust from ships. The Program was supposed to begin on January 1st 2020, when Special Act on Improving Air Quality on Port Areas, Etc., takes effect, but has started earlier as an attempt to reduce fine dust levels during winter.
Under the Program, ships have their port facilities fees lowered when they enter ports at a speed below certain levels. In other countries, similar programs have been in place since 2001, like at Los Angeles Port and Long Beach Port, in order to protect marine environment.
The Korean Program will provide even greater incentives, writes the Ministry in a press release, in order to induce more ships to participate in the program, which is important considering the seriousness of fine dust levels in ports. As for ports, 5 major ports (Busan Port, Ulsan Port, Yeosu Port, Gwangyang Port, Incheon Port) with the largest number of ships* will first be designated as Vessel Speed Reduction Program Sea Areas. Each Area will span 20 nautical miles in radius, measured from specific lighthouse in each port. Ships that wish Slow-Steam should sail no faster than certain speed (12 knots for container ships and car-carriers, 10 knots for other ship types) when moving from a starting point to an end point within the Area.