The IMO (International Maritime Organisation) has decided in 2008 to reduce the maximum allowed sulphur content in marine fuels from 1.0% to only 0.1% in SECAs (SOx Emission Control Areas). Particularly affected is the maritime traffic in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The global shipping industry - including other European shipping areas such as the Irish Sea and the Mediterranean Sea - is not affected until 2020 or probably even until 2025 and has an unchanged limit of 3.5%, which will then be lowered to 0.5%.
The new legislation for the SECA zone, valid for the whole Baltic Sea, can be complied with by using Marine Gasoil with max. sulphur content of 0.1%, which is about EUR 200 per ton more expensive than normal ship fuel (as per 2015).
Alternatively, instead of using 0.1% Marine Gasoil the new regulation can be complied with by the installation of an exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubber). This emission control technology has long been proven in land-based installations but for the use onboard ships the systems were too big and too heavy. Due to this fact the technology is still in a development phase for maritime application, even if such systems were increasingly ordered for modern RoRo vessels during recent months. The systems are very expensive for RoRo vessels but vary depending on the cleaning technology and the ship type. Because of the high installation costs for the implementation of those systems and the additional operating costs, they are not really an option especially for older tonnage.
From 1st January 2015 on, TT-Line is using Marine Gasoil on five of their vessels. On our ship Nils Dacke, we have installed during autumn 2014 a hybrid wet scrubber manufactured by Wärtsilä within an EU supported pilot project. For more information see: "TEN-T MoS Project "Green Bridge on Nordic Corridor".