Considering environmental regulations, imposed by an international regulation body restricting the emission levels from ships in ports, with even more stringent local regulations envisaged, the challenges for the world’s fleet are not only technical but economic and logistical. On the one hand, there are different technical alternatives enabling the current international regulations to be met. Even avoiding on board modifications,the owner can decide to use low sulphur content fuels, together with slight changes in engines to reduce the levels of nitrogen oxides. But the question posed in this paper is how to support the decision to use high quality oil derivatives, bearing in mind environmental considerations, but with a favourable economic balance. That enormous cost will be translated into a higher transport chain cost. Additionally, regarding coastal navigation, it might become possible for some new regulations to penalize elevated rates of CO2 emissions, not yet considered by the MARPOL convention. This paper analyzes the availability of the use of methane as an ideal fuel which meets the nowadays and even future, local and international regulations on CO2 and NOx, regarding the fuel derivatives and no emissions of sulphur oxides and ashes.

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Published on 01/01/2011

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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