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OSLO: A group of ocean vessel operators with a strong Nordic bias has launched an initiative to enforce maritime sulphur regulations.

The Trident Alliance is the inspiration of Roger Strevens, vice president Environment for WWL, who's earlier discussions with shipowners had found widespread support for both the idea and taking a collaborative approach to manifest it.

EUKORIn addition to WWL, the launch members are American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC), EUKOR Car Carriers Inc., Höegh Autoliners, J. Lauritzen, Maersk, Rickmers-Linie, Stena, Torvald Klaveness, UECC and Unifeeder.

The CEOs say they have committed to both complying and supporting the transparent enforcement of sulphur regulations. In a statement they say while steps have been taken to implement sulphur emission regulations, the cost of compliance is significant and when not adhered to, distort competition as "responsible shipping companies are put at a disadvantage relative to those who are intentionally non-compliant".

Jan Kastrup-Nielsen, president and CEO of J. Lauritzen adds:"I am pleased that the alliance has been founded and that J. Lauritzen from the beginning is part of this important initiative to work for effective enforcement of sulphur regulations thus securing a level competitive playing field while supporting the environmental benefits intended by the legislators."

Strevens, who has been elected chairman of the group notes: "Robust enforcement of sulphur regulation is needed for health and the environment and, from the perspective of maintaining a level playing field, it is a business imperative. Already during its formation the Trident Alliance has raised awareness of the current shortcomings of enforcement and related consequences, particularly in the European ECA [Emission Control Areas]. Now our work starts in earnest."

The launch of the Alliance follows a June 18 2014 deadline for EU Member States to comply with an European Commission directive on sulphur emissions which will enter into force at the beginning of January next year.

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