Iceland will enforce the use of 0.1% sulphur bunker fuels in its territorial waters from 2020, a sulphur cap that is more stringent that IMO 2020.
The country’s ministry for environment and natural resources said the new rule, to come into effect on 1 January 2020, will cover territorial waters as well as fjords and bays.
“Vessels can use light types of oil fuel until they switch to other energy sources. I hope this will happen in the near future but heavy fuel oil is the filthiest, therefore it is extremely important to stop its use,” said Guomundur Ingi Guobrandsson, minister for the environment and natural resources.
The 0.1% sulphur rule by Iceland will see the country have one of the strictest heavy fuel regulation in the world.
Under global regulation IMO 2020, all ocean-going vessels need to burn bunker fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, a limit that is less severe than what Iceland will be implementing.
The Icelandic government said the sulphur content of bunkers sold in Iceland in 2017 ranged from 0.64-1.94%, compared to the global average of 2.59% based on IMO data.
Iceland, however, will allow the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, if the vessel wishes to continue using high sulphur fuel oil.