October 2018

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Viewpoint: Reducing the sulfur shadow— Who pays the price?

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) 2020 regulation has been described as the most disruptive change to impact the oil industry in the past 30 yr.

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) 2020 regulation has been described as the most disruptive change to impact the oil industry in the past 30 yr. This regulation requires the shipping industry to reduce sulfur gas emissions from 3.5% to 0.5%. Ships can comply by installing remediation equipment or by limiting the sulfur content of their bunker fuel. Compliant low-sulfur fuel oil is approximately 50% more costly than existing higher-sulfur bunker fuel sources. With the regulation due to become effective in 2020, low-sulfur fuel oil will likely become even more expensive. In a recent study commissioned by KBC, it is apparent that consumers are mostly unwilling to pay the price

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