The Shenzhen government plans to spend US$32 million a year on cash rebates to encourage shipping lines to switch to low-sulphur fuel while at berth.
It will subsidise between 75-100% of the extra costs incurred in the voluntary at-berth switch to fuel with a maximum 0.5% sulphur content.
Dong Yanze, director of the construction management office of Shenzhen's transport commission said: “We are learning from the experiences in Hong Kong, where companies have volunteered to switch to low-sulphur fuel and the government provides subsidies for extra costs incurred.”
Bunker bills account for 20-30% in the operational costs of shipping lines, which have been hit by heavy losses in a recent slump in the industry.
Hong Kongese undersecretary for the environment Christine Loh Kung-wai said: “We hope to set an example for other coastal ports in China and that our efforts will be acknowledged by the central government, eventually leading to nationwide policies.”
23 shipping lines have signed a joint green shipping Shenzhen declaration, pledging to contribute to cleaning up the air in the city.