Norway to delay zero discharge start up in Heritage Fjords

2020-05-15T15:08:34+00:00 May 15th, 2020|Environment|

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD) is seeking to extend the World Heritage Fjords zero discharge rules start up.

According to the NMD, the ban should start in 2030 instead of 2026 as originally planned. This recommendation has reportedly been sent to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The Ministry had asked the NMD to assess the consequences of imposing zero emission requirements in the World Heritage fjords from 2026. After a review, the NMD said that the time perspective should be extended to 2030. It also said that at present there are zero discharge solutions for smaller vessels, but there were practical problems for large cruise ships receiving zero discharge technology by 2026.

Simply introducing zero discharge requirements for smaller vessels would have contributed to disproportionately large disparities between the types of ships, according to Bjørn Pedersen, NMD Deputy Director General. He explained that strict requirements had already been introduced, including the content of sulfur in the fuel, NOx, sewage and gray water emissions in the fjords, and this will be further tightened until 2025.

NMD has also been tasked with considering an extension of the existing emission requirements in the World Heritage fjords to other Norwegian waters. An extension will prevent cruise ships from moving from the World Heritage fjords to other fjords enabling the total environmental emissions to remain unchanged. The NMD said it therefore considered it necessary to see all the measures in context.

“We are very keen on greening the shipping traffic in our fjords and our regulations for World Heritage Fjords are already the most stringent that have been introduced in an international context. In order for the zero emission requirements to work properly, the technology must be available and applicable. Therefore, we believe that the time horizon should be extended to 2030 at the latest so that the industry can get the technology required,” Pedersen said.