Marine engines make a sizeable contribution to emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM2.5), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) on a province-wide basis. Many of these emissions are concentrated in the ports of the Lower Mainland.
Marine engines use marine diesel or marine heavy fuel oil. Both of these fuels have much higher sulphur contents than transportation fuels used on land. For ocean-going ships visiting B.C., fuel sulphur contents typically fall in the range of 1 to 3%, compared to 15 ppm or 0.0015% sulphur content for on-road diesel in Canada.
Marine Emissions Initiatives
To address diesel emissions and greenhouse gases from port operations, Port Metro Vancouver participates with Seattle and Tacoma in the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. The strategy aims to reduce emissions from ships in port as well as from port operations.
Regulators and marine stakeholders also participate in the B.C. Marine Vessel Air Quality Working Group to work toward further measures for reducing air emissions from the marine and shipping sector.