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Sulfur content in ship fuel now detected faster

    Shanghais maritime authority is using new equipment which can detect the amount of sulfur in ship fuel in about two minutes instead of days as previously.

    Since last year, all vessels entering or berthing at the city’s ports are required to use low-sulfur fuel to cut emissions.

    Measuring the amount of sulfur in ship fuel used to take about three days and a vessel might have already left port before results were obtained.

    The new portable device was being used this week by Shanghai Maritime Bureau’s law enforcement team to test oil samples.

    An inspection of the Singapore-registered Shengking on Wednesday showed that its fuel met the standard, with results obtained after just 130 seconds.

    The bureau said the new device can be used as reference in daily inspections to raise efficiency. However, where violations occur a detailed laboratory report is still required.

    According to a report by the local environmental authority in 2013, boats and ships operating in Shanghai accounted for 12.4 percent all discharges of air pollutant sulfur dioxide.

    Vessels entering or berthing in Shanghai are required to use oil with a sulfur volume of less than 0.5 percent since last year. Before the introduction of the new regulation, a large number of vessels were found consuming cheaper oil with a sulfur content of over 3 percent.

    Meanwhile, a monthly air quality report by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau yesterday showed that the city’s air quality in November was slightly down compared to last year.

    According to the report, 76.7 percent of the days in November enjoyed excellent or good air quality with AQI no higher than 100, a 3.3 percent decrease compared to last November.