Iceland Bans Use of Heavy Fuel Oil

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 15
December 10, 2019

Photo courtesy Iceland’s Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources

Iceland is moving to ban the use of heavy fuel oil as the Nordic island nation looks to clean up air quality in and around its coastal areas. 

The new regulation was issued this month as an amendment to existing regulations by Iceland’s Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources.

The amendment reduces the maximum allowable sulphur content of marine fuels used in Iceland’s territorial and inland waters from 3.5 percent currently to 0.1 percent starting on January 1, 2020. This will bring Iceland in-line with current Emissions Control Areas defined by Annex VI of MARPOL. 

Combined with the upcoming IMO 2020.5 percent sulphur cap, the new regulation will effectively ban the use of high sulphur marine fuel in and around Iceland and its territorial waters. 

“This will make the permissible sulphur content in marine fuels in Iceland 0.1% in the territorial sea and internal waters, i.e. also in fjords and bays,” the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement. “Further out to sea and outside of territorial waters, the sulphur content cannot exceed 0.5%. Heavy fuel oil has a higher sulphur content than this in most cases, and thus the regulation effectively brings a halt to the use of heavy fuel oil around Iceland.”

Ship’s fitted with approved exhaust gas cleaning systems, aka scrubbers, will still be permitted to burn HFO while calling Iceland. 

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