Clean port

Gas boss calls for emis­sion con­trols

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

WA oil and gas gi­ant Wood­side is urg­ing the Pil­bara’s heavy in­dus­try ports to adopt stricter en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards to en­cour­age the use of clean ma­rine fu­els.

On a visit to Dampier last week, Wood­side chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Michael Ut­sler said it was time for Aus­tralia to em­brace the ap­pli­ca­tion of emis­sion con­trol ar­eas.

“(ECA’s would be) par­tic­u­larly ap­pro­pri­ate to Port Hed­land, Dampier, Fre­man­tle, Al­bany, in the WA arena where there is so much com­mer­cial dry bulk car­rier op­por­tu­nity that LNG could rep­re­sent as a ma­rine trans­port fuel,” he said.

“The idea of an ECA im­ple­men­ta­tion con­sis­tent with what is hap­pen­ing in Europe, the USA and even China . . . is to re­duce the im­pact to the en­vi­ron­ment from an air qual­ity stan­dard.

“We are aided by in­ter­na­tional law dic­tat­ing that by 2020 the In­ter­na­tional Maritime Or­gan­i­sa­tion has said all in­ter­na­tion­ally trans­port­ing ves­sels on the wa­ter must com­ply with these (emis­sions) reg­u­la­tions.”

Mr Ut­sler said more than five bil­lion litres of diesel fuel was used each year to run the green mile be­tween the Pil­bara and China.

The IMO in­tro­duced new reg­u­la­tions in 2016 to cap sul­phur con­tent of ship fuel to 0.5 per cent by 2020, down from the cur­rent 3.5 per cent cap.

Among op­tions for ves­sels would be to use LNG or methanol fu­els, or to fit scrub­bers to ex­ist­ing en­gines.

A Pil­bara Ports Author­ity spokes­woman said while the PPA had no reg­u­la­tory en­force­ment pow­ers un­der the MARPOL con­ven­tion, ships vis­it­ing the Pil­bara were re­quired to com­ply with the In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion for the prevention of Pol­lu­tion from Ships. “This con­ven­tion reg­u­lates air pol­lu­tion from ships and sets lim­its on ni­tro­gen and sul­phur emis­sions,” she said. “Pil­bara Ports Author­ity does not mea­sure par­tic­u­late emis­sions within its port area.

“How­ever, a three-year study from 2015 mea­sured ni­tro­gen and sul­phur pol­lu­tants at the port of Port Hed­land and found all lev­els to be within ac­cept­able lim­its.”

The spokes­woman said en­act­ing ECA’s would have to be driven by State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Siem Off­shore tech­ni­cal man­ager Char­lie Baker with Wood­side ma­rine op­er­a­tions man­ager Nic Read and chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Michael Ut­sler.

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