To combat air emissions, MARPOL Annex VI establishes a global fuel sulphur cap, as well as stricter regulation in Emission Control Areas (ECAs). The legislation refers to fuel sulphur levels, but compliance is also possible by cleaning SOx from the exhaust gas.
MARPOL Annex VI progressively reduces the allowed sulphur content of marine fuels. From January 2020 there will be a global cap of 0.5%S, while a 0.1%S limit already exists in today’s ECAs.
The aim is to keep harmful sulphur oxides (SO2 and SO3) and particulate matter (PM) from being released into the air. This is why IMO allows higher-sulphur fuels to be used with SOx scrubbers, which achieve the same result by cleaning the exhaust gas.
Today’s HFO has a sulphur content well above the limits established by MARPOL Annex VI. That leaves you as a ship owner with three options, each of which has different implications.
Install a SOx scrubber
+ Allows continued use of economical HFO
- Payback time depends on fuel price delta (HFO vs low-sulphur)
Investing in a scrubber system like PureSOx provides a cost advantage over ship owners who choose low-sulphur fuels to comply with MARPOL Annex VI. The difference in fuel price determines your time to payback and profit.
No one knows for certain what will happen to fuel prices when the global sulphur cap takes effect in 2020. But the following articles and resources offer indications and analysis.
High-sulphur Fuel Demand Outlook Jumps as Shippers Soften Stance on Scrubbers
SOx scrubbers provide an opportunity for long-lasting fuel cost savings. No scrubber system lets you make more of that opportunity than PureSOx from Alfa Laval.