A comparative analysis upon the utilization of exhaust gas cleaning systems, LNG fuels or conventional fuels as the most viable options to comply with the new IMO Low Sulfur Cap Regulations
Gas emissions control and utilization
Since the decrease of the global sulfur limit from 3.5% to 0,5% by the International Maritime Organization on 1-1-2020, the ship-owners and carriers are obliged to elect between the three available options in order to comply with the present regulatory amendments. The first available option is the utilization of exhaust gas cleaning systems, also called "scrubbers". By the use of these filters, the vessels are able to burn high sulfur fuels while the sulfur surplus and other dangerous chemicals are evaporated by spraying alkaline water via an open loop, closed loop or hybrid systems. The other option is the use of LNG as fuel, a viable option connected with the constant expansion of the global LNG supply infrastructure network. This network is yet in a developing status, as the majority of the LNG vessels are primarily coastal vessels operated in European waters and many supply ports worldwide have not yet developed full-scale LNG supply facilities and proper equipment is not yet installed. The final option is the utilization of conventional fuels, low on sulfur emissions, such as MGO and ULSFO. The major issue is the availability and the cost of those fuels, with the refiners being unable to forecast if they should produce more low-sulfur fuels to meet potentially higher demand. By the comparative analysis of those three options, pursuant to distinct indicators, their viability will be evaluated and a thorough proposal for their utilization will be provided.
IMO 2020 Low Sulfur Cap, Scrubbers, LNG fuel, MGO, ULSFO