zoom Belgium’s port of Antwerp will grant a discount of up to 30% in port dues to seagoing ships that use alternative technology to reduce emissions of particulates, starting from June 1. Ships can claim the discount if they can demonstrate that they either make effective use of scrubbers (in closed mode), or are powered by LNG for a period of at least 24 hours before they call at the port of Antwerp.Ships powered by LNG can receive a discount of 20%, while those that make use of closed scrubbers can get a discount of 15%. The percentages will be gradually reduced as of 2016 in order to reward the ”early adopters” who make the necessary investment now. The percentages for 2016 are set at 15% and 10% respectively, and for 2017 they will be 10% and 5%.The new discount comes on top of the existing Environmental Ship Index (ESI) discount. The ESI is based on a system of credits ranging from 0 to 100 that ships can earn for having environmental performance better than required by the regulations for NOx, SOx and CO2.Ships that obtain 31 or more credits can have their bill for port dues reduced by 10%. The ESI system is currently supported by 25 ports and so far has benefited 3,067 ships.
Lakhdar Brahimi issued a statement in Kabul condemning “the vicious attack on a vehicle of the Afghan Red Crescent Society last Wednesday which resulted in the death of two national staff members and gunshot injuries to four others.”The daylight attack took place in Ghazni province when two gunmen on a motorbike approached the vehicle and fired on the passengers inside with AK-47 rifles. It followed similar incidents over the last 10 days, including one when an Afghan aid worker was killed and others when staff were fired at or beaten and brutalized. Mr. Brahimi, chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), reiterated that “the goal of members of the aid community in Afghanistan, be they nationals or internationals, is to help the needy and vulnerable to improve their living conditions.”He vowed that the international community would not be deterred by these acts. “The United Nations is committed to using all means available to continue providing the necessary assistance to the Afghan people,” he said.Through the statement, Mr. Brahimi extended his sympathies to the families of the victims and voiced hope that those injured would soon recover.