Italy Mulls Lowering Sulfur Cap

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday August 5, 2014

Italy is considering setting a cap on the sulfur content of bunkers burned in its waters to bring it in line with the Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) of northern Europe starting in 2018, news site IHS Maritime 360 reports.

"The Environmental Commission of the Chamber [of Deputies] has asked and received from the government [the go-ahead] to bring forward to 2018 the elimination of sulphur from marine fuels used in its Adriatic and Ionian [waters]," said Giovanna Sanna, spokeswoman for the commission.

"This is an important decision because with only three years' delay it brings [these waters] into line with those of the Caribbean, North America and northern Europe.

"However, the other countries bordering these waters - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece - need to adopt the same [sulphur] limits within the same timeframe."

A previous Italian government directive had suggested a deadline of 2020 for a 0.1 percent sulfur limit to take effect.

Some analysts have speculated that a new Emissions Control Area (ECA) may eventually be created in the Mediterranean Sea, potentially leading to higher costs for carriers.