As an effort to limit harmful emissions, starting Jan. 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires the use of bunker fuel with a sulfur limit of 0.5%, down from 3.5% currently. Only ships fitted with expensive exhaust cleaning systems, known as scrubbers, which can remove sulfur from emissions, will be allowed to continue burning HSFO (high-sulfur fuel oil).
Even with the shift to compliant fuels such as low-sufur fuel oil or marine gasoil, HSFO should still constitute about 15-20% of the entire marine fuel product mix, industry sources and traders said. The global shipping industry currently consumes about 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of HSFO.
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