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Battle for new sulfur regulations has only just begun

The first year with the new and tighter requirements for vessels' sulfur emissions in ECA zones is coming to an end. Read here about how the industry, the suppliers, and the authorities have handled the new regulations. And see what the next big challenges will entail.

Even before 2015, when the new regulations for vessels' sulfur emissions took effect, the concern in the industry was widespread.

The new regulations meant that carriers had to find solutions for lowering their sulfur emissions from 1.0 percent to 0.1 percent in special ECA zones in the North Sea and the Baltic, as well as in the English Channel and in North America. A vast majority of carriers expected to change to marine gas oil in these zones, which would keep them below the limit, but on the other hand is more expensive than traditional heavy fuel oil. German Hapag-Lloyd expected at the beginning of 2014 that the new regulations would bring extra expenses of EUR 150-200 million based on the oil price at the time, which, however, has fallen drastically now.

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