Photo: Wikimedia Commons
After successful trials carried out together with the Chalmers University of Technology, the Swedish Transport Agency has installed a sulphur sensing device on the Øresund/Öresund Bridge.
The sniffer is used to measure the level of sulphur in ships' exhaust gasses. If the measurement points out to there being a possibility that a vessel is running on a bunker with a sulphur content exceeding the permitted level of 0.1%, a patrol can be dispatched to board the ship in order to take fuel samples for further examination.
"The method makes it possible for us to undertake countermeasures against those who break the rules in an easier and faster manner. It means that the checks can be more efficient," Simon Posluk, Head of Unit for Sustainable Development, the Swedish Transport Agency, said.
He added, "Even though the rules on ship emissions have been sharpened, inspections made by the Swedish Transport Agency, coupled with the measurements from Chalmers, show that 5-10% of ships cheat. It will be harder to do that now."
On 3 September, Sweden introduced new penalties against those who violate the sulphur rules. Shipowners and operators will have to pay an environmental sanction fee even if they go over the limit unintentionally or due to negligence. The fee can amount to SEK1.0m (almost €100k) and will depend on the amount of sulphur released and a ship's total engine power.