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Mediterranean ECA to be further discussed in December

REMPEC study finds implementation of Mediterranean SECA ‘would bear considerable costs’.




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The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) the IMO-administered marine pollution emergency response centre in the Mediterranean, has concluded a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) in the Mediterranean region.

According to the study, further reducing the sulphur content of marine fuels used in the Mediterranean would bear considerable costs.

However, the significant health and environmental benefits, including fewer cases of respiratory diseases and premature being deaths avoided annually resulting from improved air quality, generated by a Mediterranean SECA, could outweigh the overall costs.

REMPEC’s study has been sent to the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts composed of representatives from (20) twenty Mediterranean countries and the European Union (EU), i.e. the Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties, for their review.

Further discussion will then take place during a regional workshop on MARPOL Annex VI which will take place in Valletta, Malta from 11 to 13 December 2018.

REMPEC and France presented, in the margins of MEPC 73, the progress and outcomes of their respective independent studies assessing the costs and benefits of an emission control area in the Mediterranean.

Related: MEPC 37: France pushes for ECA in the Mediterranean Sea

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Published: 29 October, 2018


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Argus Media: B30-MGO blend premium to MGO narrows to seven-month low

Premium of marine biodiesel with 30pc advanced Fame and 70pc marine gasoil (MGO) in ARA on a dob basis to conventional MGO narrowed to $4.92/t on 13 September, its lowest since February.





RESIZED Argus media

The premium of marine biodiesel with 30pc advanced fatty acid methyl ester (Fame) and 70pc marine gasoil (MGO) in ARA on a dob basis to conventional MGO narrowed to $4.92/t on 13 September, its lowest since February.

14 September 2023

Marine biodiesel blends with MGO as the conventional fuel component may gain traction ahead of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) scheme which begins next year. Shipowners looking to minimise their ETS costs may turn to the marine biodiesel blend. Argus calculations showed that a B30 blend comprising Fame and MGO was assessed at a $79.95/t discount to conventional MGO when CO2 ETS costs are factored in, the lowest recorded since 1 February.

Some participants have told Argus that it may become more cost-efficient to utilise marine biodiesel blends with MGO for vessels without scrubbers in Emission Control Areas (ECA). ECA zones limit the sulphur content of fuels vessels can burn to 0.1pc, with the Mediterranean being the latest addition to ECA zones globally. Market participants reported sufficient supply of the B30 MGO blend in ARA. But some noted tighter prompt availability of the blended product, reporting a required notice period of 7-10 days for delivery by barge.

Conventional dob MGO prices in ARA averaged an outright price of $932.28/t so far this month, a $47/t increase on August's average. At this level, MGO was at its highest monthly average since November 2022. MGO values firmed in recent sessions on the back of tight gasoil supply in the region. Tighter gasoil supply may incentivise refiners to redirect distillate blendstocks away from the MGO pool towards diesel products that generally command a higher premium. Market participants have also reported tightening availability of MGO in recent sessions because of lower supplies of blending components at the hub.

By Hussein Al-Khalisy

Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 18 September, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

Argus releases paper on biofuels bunker demand from EU ships without scrubbers to rise in 2024

Biofuel demand for bunkering from vessels without scrubbers could increase in northwest Europe when ships travelling in EU territorial waters will have to pay for CO2 emissions starting 2024.





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Argus Media on Thursday (11 May) released a white paper titled NW Europe biofuels bunker demand from ships without scrubbers to rise in 2024 on biofuel demand from vessels without scrubbers in EU territorial waters when they will have to pay for their CO2 emissions starting next year.

Argus said as a result of the move, demand for biofuels for bunkering from vessels without scrubbers could increase in northwest Europe. By contrast, vessels with scrubbers could continue to burn high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) in the region.

Ships operating in the EU territorial waters will have to pay for 40pc of their CO2-equivalent emissions from 2024, 70pc from 2025, and 100pc from 2026.

It said vessels travelling in the northwest Europe emission control areas (ECA) with no scrubbers could switch from burning MGO to B100 in 2024. The added CO2 emissions cost could drive the price of MGO at a premium to B100.

By contrast, vessels travelling in the northwest Europe ECA, with installed scrubbers, could continue to burn HSFO in 2024.

The whitepaper also highlights biofuel for bunkering subsidies in Rotterdam as well as prices for Singapore B24 biofuel for bunkering being priced at a premium to Rotterdam B30 and B20.

Note: The full Argus Media whitepaper titled NW Europe biofuels bunker demand from ships without scrubbers to rise in 2024 can be found here.


Photo credit: Argus Media
Published: 12 May, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

Poland’s first LNG-fuelled RoPax vessels to utilise Wärtsilä solutions

The ships, currently constructed at Remontowa, will be operated by ferry companies Unity Line and Polferries and run entirely on bio-LNG by 2025.





Polish RoPax vessels will operate on LNG fuel with Wartsila 31DF dual fuel engines

The technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted by Remontowa shipyard in Poland to supply engines, fuel storage and supply systems for three new RoPax vessels, the first LNG-fuelled RoPax vessels to be built for the Polish maritime sector, it said on Tuesday (15 February).

The ships will be operated by ferry companies Unity Line and Polferries. The contract with Wärtsilä was signed in January 2022.

The vessels will each operate with four highly efficient Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines. The LNG-fuelled engines can use bio-LNG, either on its own or blended with conventional LNG, to further reduce their carbon footprint. The operators intend to run the vessels entirely on bio-LNG by 2025.

The efficiency of the Wärtsilä 31DF engine was a key consideration in the award of this contract. The diesel version of the engine has been recognised by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine. Wärtsilä will also deliver its LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control system.

“High efficiency and sustainability are essential in today’s operating environment, especially in the Baltic Sea which is an Emissions Control Area,” says Grzegorz Wardzyński, Technical Director of Polsteam, the parent company of Unity Line.

“The Wärtsilä 31 engine represents the latest engine technology available and this, coupled with Wärtsilä’s vast experience in LNG solutions, made the choice easy for us.”

“Decarbonisation is a front and centre issue for the maritime sector, and this focus is reflected in the choice of the Wärtsilä engines for these ferries,” adds Matthias Becker, General Manager, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

“Optimal engine performance is essential in maximising fuel efficiency and minimising exhaust emissions. These new vessels will become an important part of Poland’s transport infrastructure, and we are proud to be a partner to this project.”

The vessels will have an overall length of 195 metres and will be capable of carrying 400 passengers, with 4,100 lane metres for vehicles. They will operate between Swinoujscie in Poland and the Swedish ports of Ystad and Trelleborg.


Photo credit: Wärtsilä
Published: 16 February, 2022

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