Fuels in the Baltic Sea after SECA
After the sulphur regulation for marine fuels was entered into force 1st of January 2015 in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea sulphur emission control area, SECA, a change in the kinds of fuels used has occurred. The allowed sulphur contents in marine fuels was decreased from 1 per centper cent to 0.1 per centper cent by mass. The 1 per cent sulphur fuel on the market is mainly heavy fuel oils, HFO, a residue fraction from refineries. The 0.1 per cent fuels available are to a large degree distillate fuels like marine gas oil, MGO, or marine diesel oil, MDO. However, after the introduction, a number of “hybrid fuels” (or ECA fuels, or ultra-low sulphur fuel oils, ULSFO), have also entered the market. In addition, it is also possible to convert the ship to LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuel or to use HFO with abatement equipment, “scrubber”. The number of installations and orders for scrubbers was more than 100 in July 2014.
In order to evaluate the environmental effects of the sulphur regulation, also with respect to changes in fuel production, the types of fuels used and the emissions in a “well-to-propeller” perspective related to the fuels have to be assessed. The report comprises two parts. The first one aims to assess what marine fuels are used in the Baltic Sea after January 1st 2015, and the second to evaluate the emissions from shipping fuels under the changed conditions taking a life cycle perspective. The emissions are carbon dioxide (CO2), particulate matter (PM), sulphur oxides (SOx), methane (CH4), and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
It is clear from measurements in ambient air that the sulphur oxide emissions have decreased significantly. To assess the impacts of all emissions from using hybrid fuels more measurements of exhaust emissions and refinery data are necessary. The impact of the refinery is not extremely large and the emissions per MJ fuel used are significantly higher from the tank-to-propeller part than from the well-to-tank part. The mix of fuels used in the SECA area is affecting the emissions in various ways.
- Although a strict quantification of the distribution between MGO, hybrid fuels, LNG and HFO with scrubber is not possible today, it is clear that the changes in total CO2 emissions caused by the possible fuel mix is quite small, and the uncertainties in data is too large to draw far reaching conclusions from.
- The total emissions of CO2 will, for all fossil fuels used, be much larger than is needed for shipping in order to fulfil the European goal to decrease CO2 emissions from shipping with 40 per cent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. The changes in emissions from refineries will not change this picture to a significant degree.
- The effect of using hybrid fuel instead of MGO seems to counteract the expected minor decrease in particle emissions due to less HFO used. Much less particles emissions is obtained by use of LNG or methanol
- The total emissions of SOx is significantly reduced.
The NOx emissions are not affected to any significant degree by change from HFO to