My own opinion is that such legislation should apply to new tonnage, but retro fitting of equipment such as exhaust scrubbers or switching to a much cleaner grade of fuel on older tonnage has huge cost implications. Already several ferry routes including DFDS’s Harwich-Esbjerg and Portsmouth to the Havre services have ceased to operate citing the Sulphur Directive as a major reason for closure.
It seems the new legislation will apply even to historic ships such as the ss Shieldhall (see Letters pages in this print edition of Sea Breezes) – has common sense completely gone absent? Dedicated teams fight to keep these ships in service and need every help to do so, not this total lack of sensible flexibility.
It was therefore good news to hear that Forth Ports, DFDS and the Scottish government have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to safeguard the future of the direct ferry service operated by DFDS between Rosyth and Zeebrugge. Faced with major cost increases arising from the legislation on emissions this Trepartite Agreement will reassure hauliers who use this service – Scotland’s only direct ferry link with the continent.
It is expected that the Ro/Ro freight ferry serving the route, Finlandia Seaways, will continue to offer three round trips each week keeping a high volume of heavy freight traffic off the UK roads system – surely that makes sense and in itself must serve to reduce harmful emissions..