There has been an estimated 77% drop in overall Sulphur Oxide emissions from ships since the entry into effect of the “IMO 2020” regulations in January 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said.
The reduction is equivalent to 8.5 million metric tonnes of sulphur oxides, which are linked to causing asthma, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases.
To remind, the 2020 Sulphur Cap has limited the use of sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside of designated emission control areas to 0.50 percent m/m down from 3.50 percent m/m limit.
The majority of ships trading worldwide switched from using heavy fuel oil to using very low sulphuf fuel oil (VLSFO.) Generally speaking, these are new blends of fuel oil, produced by refineries to meet the new limit, in accordance with IMO guidance and ISO standards.
Over the past two years, to meet the new regulation, ships have also burnt alternative fuels such as LNG, and methanol. Vessels that continued to use heavy fuel oil fitted their ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers).
Through 2020, and into 2021 to date, IMO has not received any reports of safety issues linked to VLSFO, the organization said.