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Cargo ships start to use less-polluting fuel from Jan 1

Cargo ships start to use less-polluting fuel from Jan 1

The International Maritime Organization announced that cargo ships will have to start using less polluting fuels in January

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In 2016, The International Maritime Organization decided that the sulphur levels in fuels for ships would have to fall to 0.5% in 2020. Currently it is 3.5%. The idea is aiming to reduce the emission of highly toxic sulphur dioxide which can be seen as the reason of health hazard also responsible for causing acid rain.

The International Maritime Organization believes that this plan will be helpful when it is including 80,000 cargo ships which ply the seas delivering raw materials and merchandise.

This plan serves different options to shipowners to meet the new regulations.

One of the solutions is to continue with heavy fuel oil but install scrubbers that remove sulphur from the exhaust fumes. However this option is expensive, and some models dump the water used to clean the exhaust into the ocean.

The second option is converting the vessels to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel which is much less polluting. 

Last and easiest option would be switch to new fuels with low sulphur content or marine diesel oil.

Head of analytics at S&P Global Platts, Chris Midgley stated that "That leaves about 3 millions barrels a day that needs to adjust to the 0.5% fuel regulation" 

Maritime Business World 

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