The IMO's MEPC meeting was held both online and at the organisation's London headquarters this week. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker
A 0.1% sulfur emission control area (ECA) for ships looks set to be imposed in the Mediterranean following the plan's approval at the International Maritime Organization this week.
The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee has approved plans to introduce the ECA at its meeting this week. If adopted at the next meeting of the committee, the new 0.1% sulfur limit could come into force as soon as 2025.
Northwest Europe introduced a similar ECA at the start of 2015. The move had a profound effect on the bunker market, shifting demand from all ships without scrubbers from HSFO to 0.1% sulfur fuels including MGO and ULSFO.
The upcoming ECA would be likely to make scrubber investments more attractive for ships spending significant amounts of their time in the Mediterranean, as well as increasing MGO demand in the region. It could also prompt increased purchases of ships running on alternative fuels without sulfur emissions, such as LNG.