In trying to cope with the regulatory challenge for the reduction of sulphur emissions, the shipping industry is considering alternative options:
- Low Sulphur FuelOil (LSFO) – LSFuelOil <0.5%.
As an upstream solution, the Sulphur content is taken care of at the source. Refining capacity, cost and worldwide availability are the main concerns.
- Distillate Fuel Oil – Marine GasOil (MGO) and Marine Diesel Oil (MDO).
Are low Sulphur oils used in many vessels. Distillates may be direct replacement option of FO but the cost and product availability are to be considered.
- Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems – Scrubbers.
In this case vessels may continue to burn High Sulphur FO (HSFO) using a recent technology, not tested throughout a long period of time, that is fitted in the exhaust of the vessel. Installation cost, space requirement, equipment weight and maintenance are obstacles to examine.
- Alternative Energy Sources –Biodiesel, solar and wind power and methanol.
Are still to be explored through research and development.
The most environmental friendly and cost effective alternative energy source is LNG. This is why the use of LNG as a fuel has increased significantly over the recent years.
LNG has significant environmental, financial and safety advantages over alternative marine fuelling options.