Iceland considering the future of HFOs?

Iceland's Environment ministry has issued a press release, presenting a report by the country’s Environment Agency on how best to reduce pollution from burning Heavy Fuel Oil, including the full ban option. It is not a report on what Iceland will do, but on what options are available.

The press release says: The Environment Agency estimates that the main gain of a ban on burning HFOs in Icelandic waters will be: better air quality, especially when ships are in harbour; a less risk of a serious pollution due to oil leak; less emissions of (SOx and NOx) and a positive image for Iceland. The costs would entail more expensive fuel and a need for increased monitoring and enforcement by implementing stricter regulation. According to the Agency about 26% of all vessels sailing through Icelandic waters burn HFOs of some kind.

The Report accounts for the way in which ECA areas can be established. They account for ECA areas in the Baltic Sea; the North Sea; the coasts of North America and Hawai; Puerto Rica and the Virgin Islands.

Establishing an ECA area in Icelandic waters would require extensive work and will be costly, the Agency concludes.

Two other possibilities are mentioned: 1) establishing ECA areas within Fjords, and 2) establish an ECA area within the 12 mile limit. Neither of these alternatives will need IMO clearance, the report says.

Background to all this is of course the progress at IMO's MEPC72 meeting last month towards a ban on HFO use in the Arctic.

Many thanks to Ned Molloy of gsccnetwork.org for providing the above information.

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