Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, has disagreed with the NSW EPA’s penalty notice that Pacific Jewel breached the new regulation for cruise ships to use low sulfur fuel while at berth in Sydney Harbour.
In appealing against the finding, Australia’s largest cruise company has called on the EPA to review the penalty notice on the basis that it failed to take into account available technical information that would have confirmed the ship had completed the changeover to low sulfur fuel within the prescribed time period.
Carnival Australia said the company adhered to regulatory requirements wherever it operated and maintained that Pacific Jewel was using low sulfur fuel as required while berthed at White Bay Cruise Terminal.
Pacific Jewel’s transfer to low sulfur fuel was conducted in compliance with the new regulatory regime for Sydney Harbour and the fuel transfer was fully documented on board the ship.
The single fuel sample submitted to the EPA for testing did not properly reflect Pacific Jewel’s successful transition to low sulfur fuel on the day in question and this has resulted in a wrong outcome.
The EPA had also not taken into account a number of other significant technical indicators that would have confirmed the ship was using low sulfur fuel.
Carnival Australia said there needed to be confidence in the process and it was particularly concerned about the time taken for the EPA to analyse fuel samples, which in Pacific Jewel’s case had amounted to some 20 days.
In the light of this delay and in line with its commitment to regulatory compliance, Carnival Australia was now having ship fuel samples tested independently to ensure timely confirmation of the company’s adherence to the low sulfur fuel requirement.