Low Sulphur Fuels in the Arctic

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The Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted specific requirements as to the maximum sulphur content of any fuel oil intended for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship. According to Regulation 14 of Annex VI of MARPOL the global sulphur limit was reduced from 3.50% to 0.50% from first of January 2020. For vessels operating in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) under MARPOL, the limit, has been 0.10%, since first of January 2015. As a result of the regulatory developments, the industry responded by offering Low Sulphur Fuels Oil (LSFO – 0.50%) and ULSFO (Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil – 0.10%) for ships that previously used different residual fuel oil blends as fuel, including Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). These developments also led to the joint PAME-EPPR project “New Low Sulphur Fuels, Fate, and Behavior in Cold Water Conditions” which was included in both PAME’s and EPPR’s Work Plans for 2021-2023. The project is led by Norway and contains five work packages (WPs): WP1. Questionnaire WP2. Industry Involvement Workshop WP3. Fuel oil sampling WP4. Fate and behavior WP5. Toxicity testing This is the first report from this project and derives from WP1. A final report for the project will be produced. Experts from Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, USA, China, Germany, Korea, Singapore and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have participated in the project. Additionally, experts from industry have also participated as consultants, including from DNV and SINTEF in Norway.