Shipper Maersk Wants Hong Kong to Require Clean Fuel

Maersk wants Hong Kong to force rivals to use clean fuel as well
Hong Kong has never met the air-quality targets it set in 1987. Maersk says Hong Kong’s reduced port charges for ships that use clean fuel cover only 40 percent of the added cost of going green Photograph by Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

Businesses usually vehemently oppose rules that raise their costs. But Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container-shipping company, says it’s willing to continue using low-sulfur fuel on container ships sailing from Hong Kong’s port to help curb the city’s big pollution problem. There’s only one catch: Maersk wants the government to force its rivals to be green, too. “Some carriers turn up here, they don’t switch to low-sulfur fuel, and they get a cost advantage,” says Tim Smith, Maersk’s North Asia chief executive officer. “We don’t think that’s right. What we want is the government to regulate.”

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