Impact of MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for Marine Fuels Supply

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The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) has adopted new emissions standards, MARPOL Annex VI, for large ships and their fuels in order to reduce air pollution from the global shipping industry. For the Sulfur Emission Control Area (SECA), including North Sea and California, starting from 1 July 2010, marine fuels in the region would have to contain no more than 1.0% sulfur, and further down to 0.1% by 1 January 2015. Currently about 80% of the bunker fuels consumed are heavy fuel oil (HFO). Other bunker fuels are marine diesel oil (MDO) and marine gas oil (MGO), which are distillates with much lower viscosity and lower sulfur content. This paper analyzed the impact of the new regulations on marine fuels market, and provided some suggestions for refining industry to meet the new standards both from IMO and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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