New vessels operating from Malta to Gozo use “the cleanest form of diesel on the market” according to its operators, following complaints of black clouds of exhaust left behind in its wake.
“Vessels operating the Malta-Gozo route run on ultra-low sulphur diesel which is the cleanest form of diesel on the market,” Virtu Ferries said in a statement.
“All diesel engines emit limited exhaust fumes, as do our vessels. Black smoke is more often than not emitted as a result of a forced manoeuvre requiring a sudden increase in power, but is not a regular occurrence,” it continued.
Photos uploaded to social media last week show plumes of black smoke trailing the new ferry, which was launched at the beginning of this month and promised a 45 minute journey time.
Nearby residents also complained about both the noise and sound being emitted from the ferry service.
However, Virtu Ferries maintain that its vessels are kept to “the highest standards”, however plans to introduce some mitigation measures in order to curtail its negative effects.
“Virtu Ferries is conscious of remarks that have appeared in the media and we endeavour to reduce emissions as much as possible,” the company continued. “We have adopted a number of mitigation measures including the shutting down of engine power once alongside the jetty during boarding.”
Lovin Malta reached out to the environment and transport ministry for a comment on the issue, however any attempt at contact fell upon deaf ears.
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