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IMO adopts Emissions Control Area around North America

IMO adopts Emissions Control Area around North America

London: At a meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Commission, the IMO today adopted a proposal to create an Emissions Control Area extending 200 nautical miles around the United States and Canada. The move is aimed at the control of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and particulate matter from ships.

Experts say there will now be a period of between 16 and about 24 months before the ECA enters into force (depending on the implementation schedule of the US and Canadian authorities). Under the provisions of Marpol Annex VI, ships entering the ECA will then have to burn higher-grade Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) with a maximum 1.0% sulphur content fuel during an interim period. But in 2015 that limit falls dramatically to 0.1% sulphur content, requiring a move to distillate fuel - currently about 50% more expensive than HFO - or employment of scrubbing technology.
'This move has been a widely anticipated and now it's a certainty,' a spokesman from the International Chamber of Shipping told Seatrade Asia Online. 'Shipowners won't appreciate the higher costs involved but one positive aspect of today's development is that it gives gives a signal to the refining industry that there is going to be a considerable demand for distillate from the shipping industry, and that they had better start preparing. It's going to be massive task.'  [26/03/10]

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