The new Emissions Control Areas (ECA) regulation that was entered into force on 1st January 2015 of 0,1% sulfur emissions has taken up a lot of media space and concern for ship owners and operators alike operating in ECA zones. Now it is time to make a short status of what compliance strategies that has been taken up.

Some of the considerations that have been determinants for the compliance strategies chosen is to balance long and short term availability, the risk, cost of adoption and of course payback of the investment made. While the considerations have been many, so have the potential solutions and strategies to comply also, mentioning but a few: Sulphur marine fuel oil blends, Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) with scrubber, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), methanol, biofuel and so on.

The following review is based on announcements 70 announcements made by top 10 companies in the ECAs constituting a collective fleet of approximately 5000 vessels.

- Roll on roll off (RORO) categories moved to scrubber technology – 75 % of them stating their liking of the technology uptake. The uptake is made by 17 of the 70 companies, with 135 orders by September 2014 and 160 in December 2014.

- LNG has primarily been taken up by coastal and inland shipping in the passenger category, though it offers promises for the future. 20% of the studied companies have considered LNG. The primary inhibitors to the uptake of LNG are concerns regarding the bunkering infrastructure and the global price drop.

- The majority of carriers have moved towards Marine Gas Oil (MGO) with a low Sulphur content. The attractiveness of this compliance strategy is mainly the minimal investment needed on the vessel’s infrastructure, the well established bunker supply chain, favorable prices and knowledge regarding its properties.

Read the full article at shipandbunker.

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The maximum allowed Sulphur content is as low as 1,000 ppm it has therefore become one of the most important characteristics of marine fuels. If your fuel contains more than the allowed threshold it could mean possible delays, disputes and even financial penalties. To ensure that the fuel is within the threshold you need equipment that can deliver close to lab quality results in order to minimize risks of false negatives / positives.

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