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Primer on the Cost of Marine Fuels Compliant with IMO 2020 Rule...

by Rocio Uria Martinez, Paul N Leiby, James Corbett, Zhaojun Wang
Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

This report aims to provide information for owners and operators of U.S. ocean-going marine cargo vessels on the cost of different approaches to compliance with the IMO mandate to reduce the sulfur content of marine fuels (outside emission control areas) to no more than 0.5%. The IMO 2020 rule came into effect on January 1, 2020. The report discusses a suite of options for compliance including low-sulfur petroleum-based fuels and alternative fuels. Since fuel prices are a primary factor in determining the cost of the various alternatives, the document also includes a discussion of the main drivers of marine fuel prices. The cost analysis compares the average annual costs (capital and fuel) out to 2050 of each compliance approach under alternative scenarios regarding fuel prices, policy, and technology innovation. The cost calculations focus on representative U.S. fleet vessels for containership and tanker types. Even though the analysis focuses on average cost of approaches to comply with IMO 2020, the comparison of approaches also acknowledges other benefits or risks including fuel price risk and the contribution of the approach to achieving other potential environmental performance objectives or regulations.