Red Funnel marks 18 years of low-sulphur fuel use

16-06-2014 As the Chamber of Shipping embarks on a campaign this week urging the government to review the timing of the impending sulphur regulations, Red Funnel can confirm that it is already compliant with the new regulations which come into force on 1 January 2015 in EU Sulphur Emission Control Areas.

Whilst the government is being encouraged to consider the huge economic and wider environmental impact of the impending regulations, Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries is the only cross-Solent vehicle ferry operator which uses low-sulphur fuel on all of its services, something which it has done since 1996.

Red Funnel’s fleet of three ro-pax vessels and three high-speed catamarans are all fuelled with 0.1% low-sulphur marine gas oil. Although more expensive, it has saved many tonnes of sulphur being released into the atmosphere over the last 18 years, which has been good news for the Isle of Wight, Southampton, and people living along Southampton Water.

Although low-sulphur fuel is more costly, the Company has maintained its reputation for offering some of the cheapest vehicles fares across the Solent.

Kevin George, CEO commented “Red Funnel is proud to have reduced its sulphur emissions some 18 years ahead of these statutory regulations and also for the other voluntary initiatives which have reduced the environmental impact of our services.  In 2011, the Company was one of the first UK ferry operators to be awarded ISO14001 for its environmental performance”.

Red Funnel supports the UK Chamber of Shipping’s campaign which highlights the need to reduce sulphur emissions in a way that protects jobs and businesses. Part of the concern is that the demand and therefore the price of low-sulphur fuel could increase considerably as ship-owners weigh up alternative solutions such as installing scrubber technology or converting tonnage to run on LNG. The additional cost of low sulphur fuel could also jeopardise the viability of some sea routes and lead to more overland transport which has wider environmental consequences.

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Issued: 16-06-2014