Cruise ship fined for defying SOx limit

2019-05-20T07:16:28+00:00 May 20th, 2019|Safety|

The cruise ship‘Magellan’, which is owned by the Greek company Global Cruise Lines, has received a notice of a violation fine of NOK700,000 for exceeding the  fuel sulfur limits allowance in the Norwegian world heritage fjords.

Documentation showed that the ship has entered two world heritage fjords with sulfur values far beyond the legal limit values, the Norwegian Maritime Administration claimed.

On 1st March, new environmental requirements for emissions and discharges in the world heritage Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord entered into force.

On 16th April, the NMA received notifications concerning smoke emissions from the Bahamas-registered cruise ship ‘Magellan’, which at thew time was berthed in Flåm.

This was followed up by an inspection on board when the ship arrived at Geiranger the next day.NMA surveyors measured the sulfur content of the ship’s fuel to be 0.17 %. In the world heritage fjords, the maximum allowed sulfur content is 0.1%.

Tracking of the vessel’s AIS signal showed that the vessel made calls at both Eidfjord and Flåm in the days preceding her call at Geiranger. Both of these ports are located within the North Sea ECA.

The ship arrived at Eidfjord from Tilbury, UK, from where shesailed on 13th April.

“Our documentation shows that the ships has entered two world heritage fjords with sulfur values far beyond the legal limit values,” said Bjørn Pedersen, the NMA’s Head of Department of Legislation and International Relations.

The extent of the violation is significant in this case, where a ship has sailed a considerable distance within the emission control area using a fuel with an excessive sulfur content, the NMA said.

The NMA’s main focus area this year is the inspection of ships, particularly cruise ships in the world heritage fjords. Even though many cruise ship companies have invested in new, modern ships, the world heritage fjords are still being visited by many older ships.

“We will have an increased presence in the world heritage fjords in the months to come, and our focus will be on making sure that the new environmental requirements are met,” warned Alf Tore Sørheim, NMA’s Head of Department of Operative Supervision.

“The NMA has made efforts to ensure safe and effective controls of sulfur emissions. Our surveyors are equipped with handheld devices that provide an immediate indication of whether the vessel satisfies the requirements or not. Moreover, we have invested in sensors which can be attached to a drone to detect sulfurous exhaust gases,” Sørheim added.