Transitioning away from heavy fuel oil in Arctic shipping

As Arctic shipping increases, pressure is mounting to protect the environment from fuels that are harmful when burned and spilled, including heavy fuel oil (HFO). Presently, the IMO is working to develop a ban on HFO in Arctic waters. This paper presents five Arctic shipping case studies, focusing on ships that can use HFO or fuels that comply with the 2020 0.5% fuel sulfur (S) limit. For each case, compare the costs of using HFO, 0.5% S-compliant fuel, distillate fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), electricity, and hydrogen (H2). Find that, while in some cases operating on HFO or 0.5% S-compliant fuels results in fuel cost savings, the cleanup, socioeconomic, and environmental costs of spilling even a small amount of fuel outweigh these savings.

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