Wilfried Lemmens, Managing Director of RBSA, had the chance to fly aboard an aircraft equipped with a sniffer sensor to detect emissions from ships. The sniffer sensor is capable of measuring sulphur (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the exhaust plumes from ships.The supply of the outside air to the SO2 sniffer sensor is established through a probe on the belly of the aircraft and connected to the air-intake of the sniffer sensor through a flexible tube. During the flights the sniffer sensor continuously measures SO2 and CO2 concentrations in the outside air.
RBSA encourage stringent requirements applicable to ships in Emission Control Areas (ECA) and advocates strict controls. Wilfried Lemmens: ‘In order to maintain a level playing field it is important that all ships respect the environmental requirements in the ECA’s, just like Belgian shipowners do.’
Belgian State Secretary for the North Sea, Philippe De backer: ‘We carry out strict controls on the sulphur emissions from ships on land, at sea and in the air. This is how we keep the air in our country clean. Thanks to analysis devices that we recently bought, controls in the port are also faster and more efficient. We are currently looking at whether we can go one step further and, with the support of Europe, we can install a low-emission zone on our North Sea.’