2020 low sulphur fuel

From 1 January 2020, all ships and vessels operating anywhere in the world will be required to use fuel which contains a maximum of 0.5 per cent m/m sulphur, as agreed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2016.

This new limit aims to reduce the impacts of sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions on the environment and human health. Australian ships, ports, refineries and fuel suppliers will need to make sure they are ready for the global implementation of this regulation, which is prescribed in the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983.

How to comply in 2020

To comply with this new regulation, ships can use:

  • Fuel oil with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 per cent m/m or compliant marine diesel oil.
  • Alternative fuels including methanol and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • An equivalent method to reduce sulphur oxide emissions approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)—provided the resulting emissions are equivalent.

Approved IMO equivalent methods include an exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubber).

Last updated: 

Thursday 20 December 2018