EnviSuM study proves sulphur emissions reduced by 70%
The EU-funded EnviSuM (Environmental Impact of Low Emission Shipping: Measurements and Modelling Strategies) project addresses measurement and modelling strategies to assess present and future compliance costs, health effects, and environmental effects of ship emissions in view of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) emission regulations.
The EnviSum project co-financed by Interreg Baltic Sea Region is a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It is coordinated by University of Turku and it involves 12 partners from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. In addition, there are 17 associated organisations, including Russian partners.
EnviSum project aims to study technical efficiency and socio-economic impacts of clean shipping solutions by 2018. The project will also provide tested and analysed tools and recommendations benefiting both the environment and the health of people in the Baltic Sea Region. At the same time, the outcomes of the project will support the maritime businesses and economic growth.
Air pollution control of ships is receiving a lot of attention. While international organisations and governments have been actively fighting greenhouse gas emissions from industry and cars since the 1970s, ships were tackled only at the beginning of this millennium. Decreasing sulphur emissions has been in focus for the past years with a step-wise tightening of sulphur limits in fuelling ships. The Baltic Sea is a forerunner and test region for tighter limits. EnviSuM looks into the effects of the latest sulphur-limit tightening on human health, environment and the economy, namely the shipping sector and wants to provide guidance on future legislation concerning emissions from ships. In addition, the project analyses different effects of sulphur regulation, namely by comparing air quality before and after its introduction, assessing health and ecosystem-level impacts and providing a cost-benefit analysis in different places in the Baltic Sea region.
The city of Gothenburg is engaged in EnviSuM in order to make calculations of the air quality on a regular basis. The Sniffer is a measuring station located on a small island at the entrance to the port of Gothenburg. The partners of the EnviSuM project use the station to remotely measure emissions of ships passing by. Following the introduction of the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) regulations, a recent study by EnviSuM revealed that the port of Gothenburg experienced a major reduction in sulphur emissions by 70% in only a year.
Beside checking on the effects of the latest sulphur limit tightening on human health, environment and the economy, the project also looks into news types of emissions resulting e.g. from new fuels being introduced to the shipping industry. The partners involved in the EnviSuM project will continue to make measurements for port cities and for the entire Baltic region to provide guidance for future environmental regulations and future investment decisions.
More information is available here.