The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Madam Benonita Bismark has indicated that the presence of sulphur in gasoline impairs the effectiveness of emission control systems and contributes to air pollution.

According to her, the International Maritime Organisation’s will enforce a new 0.5% global Sulphur Cap on fuel contents by January 2020.

Madam Benonita Bismark was addressing a sensitisation seminar for stakeholders in the Maritime Industry in Tema.

It was organised in collaboration with the Ghana Shippers Authority and the Ghana Maritime Authority. It was on the theme; “International Maritime Organisation’s 2020 Sulphur Cap Implementation Agenda” aimed at reducing Sulphur emission of ships from current 3.5% to 0.5%.

The seminar was also part of series being organised to help educate stakeholders on the policy.

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According to Madam Bismark, reducing the Sulphur content in gasoline will enable advanced emission controls and reduces air pollution.

“Over the years, environmental concerns on harmful emissions from ships caused by the presence of Sulphur in fuel have heightened. To respond to that, the International Maritime Organisation’s will enforce a new 0.5% global Sulphur Cap on fuel content from 1st January 2020, lowering it from 3.5% limit.” she added.

She indicated that not only would the implementation of the regulation avert an estimated five hundred and seventy thousand 570,000 premature deaths annually, but it would also help curb harmful effects of ship emissions and to gradually usher in the reign of green shipping as a long term strategy to overcome the harmful impacts of climate change.

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“It has been estimated that five thousand premature deaths will be averted annually with the implementation of the regulation. Indeed this is a global initiative to curb the harmful effects of ship emissions and to gradually usher in the reign of green shipping as a long term strategy to overcome the harmful impacts on the environment and human health. The clock is ticking on the IMO 2020 Sulphur Regulation deadline and yet much work remains to be done. It is in this respect that these seminars series have been organised to help bring sufficient clarity to all stakeholders on the rules, enforcement mechanisms to monitor compliance and the commercial implications for Shippers and cargo owners.” she indicated.

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On his part, the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority Thomas Kofi Alonze called on all stakeholders to play their parts to ensure a successful implementation of the IMO policy.

Speaking with Westafrica24.com, the Head of Freight and Logistics at the Ghana Shippers Authority, GSA, Fred Asiedu-Dartey assured Ghanaian Shippers that even though the compliance with the regulation will come with a certain cost, the GSA will continue to protect their interests.

“It is very factual that yes cost will be increased, but the extent of increase at this point, nobody can tell, but there is one assurance that we can give Ghanaian Shippers that the Ghana Shippers Authority reaffirms it’s commitment to ensure that we protect their interest.”

By: Paul Mamattah

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