SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s Cabinet approved a motion on Tuesday that centers on nurturing industries for eco-friendly vessels to better deal with tightened international regulations and reduce emissions of fine dust.
The trade ministry said it would roll out a set of measures to speed up the development and supply of such ships using an array of resources ranging from liquefied natural gas, methanol, to hydrogen.
The country will gradually replace 140 state-owned ships with those utilizing clean energy sources by 2030 as well.
For the ships whose lifespans are beyond 2030, South Korea plans to install new equipment, such as diesel particulate filters, to reduce pollutant emissions.
South Korea also plans to help various types of ships, including cruises and fishing boats, to adopt eco-friendly fuels.
The move comes as a part of South Korea’s latest green energy drive which centers on reducing the use of fossil fuels and instead utilizing sustainable and clean resources in various areas.
South Korea said the new measures will help reduce the emissions of fine dust and greenhouse gases.
Fine dust particles pose serious health risks as they more easily penetrate deeper into the lungs, while ultra fine particles can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
The latest efforts also came amid tightened international regulations on the amount of sulfur content in marine fuel starting next year.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, a International Maritime Organization (IMO) rule will go into effect limiting the sulfur cap of marine fuel to 0.5 percent from the current 3.5 percent.
To comply with IMO 2020, vessel operators need to either install exhaust gas cleaning systems, called scrubbers, or use clean fuels, such as low-sulfur fuel oil, marine gas oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).