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January 7, 2013 8:40 AM, EST
Maersk Wants Port of Hong Kong to Ban Dirty Fuel

Maersk Line, the world’s largest container-shipping company, has threatened to stop using cleaner fuel at the Port of Hong Kong if the government doesn’t mandate higher quality oil for carriers in the city, Bloomberg News reported.

Without rules, shipping lines that burn polluting fuel benefit from cheaper costs compared with Maersk, which uses a cleaner fuel that is also more expensive, Bloomberg reported, citing Tim Smith, head of the company’s North Asia division.

Government incentives for switching to cleaner fuels for shipping lines at Hong Kong — the world’s third-busiest container port — don’t cover additional costs, and payments are often delayed, Smith said.

Maersk and 17 other operators have voluntarily used low-sulfur oil for the past two years to help curb Hong Kong’s pollution, the worst among global financial centers, Bloomberg reported.