A preliminary evaluation of the impact of Sulphur Emissions Control Area in the Baltic Sea on air quality in port cities. Case port - the city of Gdańsk

Michalina Bielawska , Oskar Czechowski , Ernest Czermański , Aneta Oniszczuk-Jastrząbek , Tomasz Owczarek


The purpose of this research is to attempt to evaluate the extent, to which technical standards related to marine fuels and thereby also sulphur dioxide (SO2) content in engine exhausts from vessels operating on the Baltic Sea have been effective in curbing the negative impact of marine shipping on air quality, in particular in port cities. Marine environment protection is governed by the provisions of the MARPOL 73/78 International Convention, which Poland ratified as a party. Different areas of concern for marine shipping have been regulated in separate Appendices to the Convention. The first step was to introduce severe restrictions on SOx emissions in view of the fact that heavy marine fuel is the lowest-quality kerosene-derived fuel with a large content of sulphur. A gradual process was put in place to reduce its content in marine fuel. As a consequence, the world’s marine areas were divided into sulphur emission control areas (also known as SECA) and other areas. In Europe, these areas include the entire Baltic Sea and large portions of the North Sea. Another important technical and economic measure was to lower the limit of sulphur content in marine fuel to 0.1% in all SECA areas, with the limits remaining unchanged in the other areas. Two dates were of key importance for the investigation: 2010, when the reduction in sulphur content of marine fuels from 1.5% to 1% was mandated, and 2015, when the standard for sulphur content was dramatically lowered to 0.1%. In the first stage, the concentration of sulphur dioxide was researched as one of the factors preceding air contamination with suspended particles in the Gdańsk - Gdynia area in the period from 2005 to 2016, as investigated by four automatic reference measurement stations in the ARMAAG network (hourly data) located in the immediate vicinity of the sea (AM4, AM5, AM6 and AM8). The research concerned the arrival of high concentrations of sulphur blown in from the sea by the wind. Another key factor was the secondary data on the number of ships, in the form of monthly series, starting from 2007. The analysis was performed in stages. In the first stage, the quality of measurement and secondary data were evaluated using a unique data quality assessment method. Further on, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) models were constructed to identify spatial correlations between SO2 concentration distributions, which were used later as a basis on which to determine synthetic measures of average hourly concentrations for the entire agglomeration area. Subsequently, the impact of the SO2 source (influx from the Baltic Sea to the agglomeration areas) was gauged separately for each individual station. The PCA models constructed on the basis of hourly data corroborated the synthetic measures as correct, making it possible to identify the similarity of concentration distributions across the investigated stations. Multi-Dimensional Regression Models and Generalized Regression Models (GRM) have made it possible to identify the period, in which the concentration of sulphur dioxide dropped steadily (from 2010 to 2016), as well as the seasonal impact of variation in SO2 concentration and the number of ships. The hourly data was converted to average monthly, quarterly and annual values, depending on the mathematical model and purpose of research.
Author Michalina Bielawska
Michalina Bielawska,,
, Oskar Czechowski
Oskar Czechowski,,
, Ernest Czermański (FE / IMTST)
Ernest Czermański,,
- Institute of Maritime Transport and Seaborne Trade
, Aneta Oniszczuk-Jastrząbek (FE / IMTST)
Aneta Oniszczuk-Jastrząbek,,
- Institute of Maritime Transport and Seaborne Trade
, Tomasz Owczarek
Tomasz Owczarek,,
Journal seriesSHS Web of Conferences , ISSN 2416-5182, e-ISSN 2261-2424, (0 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.61
ConferenceGlobMar 2018 - Global Maritime Conference - Sustainable Shipping, 19-04-2018 - 20-04-2018, Sopot, Polska
Keywords in Englishshipping, Sulphur Regulation, ship emissions, port emissions, port-city correlation, Port of Gdansk
URL https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20185801002
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)15
ScoreMinisterial score = 15.0, ArticleFromJournalAndMatConfByIndicator
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 15.0, ArticleFromJournalAndMatConfByIndicator
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