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Sulphur content of marine fuel featured in the discussions of Minister Vehviläinen and Vice-President Kallas

Sulphur content of marine fuel featured in the discussions of Minister Vehviläinen and Vice-President Kallas

News article 13.02.2010 13.27 fi sv en

Ms Anu Vehviläinen, Finland's Minister of Transport, met Mr Siim Kallas, recently appointed Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for transport, on 12 February at the Informal Meeting of Transport Ministers in La Coruña, Spain.

Their discussions centred around the new limits on sulphur content of marine fuel set up by the International Maritime Organisation, IMO. According to the limits, by 2015 sulphur content of marine fuel used in Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, PSSAs, such as the Baltic Sea, should not exceed 0.1 per cent.

Minister Vehviläinen expressed her concern over the availability of low-sulphur fuel and the expenses that will incur for businesses. A recently published Commission report on refining capacities confirms Minister Vehviläinen's concern. She said to Vice-President Kallas that the EU should request for more time from the IMO for the application of the new limits. This is allowed in the IMO regulations for other than PSSAs. The global limit would be 0.5 per cent in 2020 but its application may be postponed if there will be problems in the availability of low-sulphur fuel.

"This should be possible for maritime transport in PSSAs too, such as the Baltic Sea," said Minister Vehviläinen.

Vice-President Kallas said that Minister Vehviläinen was the first EU Minister of Transport with whom he had a bilateral meeting. Minister Vehviläinen invited Vice-President Kallas to visit Finland during the spring.