NOx controls in Baltic

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) is seeking to designate the region as a NOx Emission Control Area (NECA) under Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) MARPOL Convention.

At a meeting in November, HELCOM's maritime group decided to further study the economic impact of the proposal, which is to be finalised at a meeting in March 2011 and then submitted to the IMO.

Work on the NECA proposal began a few years ago and studies on economic impacts and the effects of shipping emissions on eutrophication and human health have been carried out. The Baltic Sea is already designated as a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA).

"The Baltic Sea NECA would lead, in the long term, to the reduction of NOx emissions from ships in the Baltic by approximately 80 per cent compared to the current level, estimated at 357 kilotons in 2009," says Anne Christine Brusendorff, HELCOM's Executive Secretary. "This will contribute to curbing eutrophication which is the Baltic's biggest environmental problem."

Source: HELCOM press release 8 November 2010.

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