Iceland to consider HFO ban options

Iceland’s Environment ministry has published a report from the Environment Agency on how best to reduce pollution from burning Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). A full ban is not being ruled out.

The Environment Agency said that the main gain of a ban on burning HFOs in Icelandic waters would be better air quality, a smaller risk of serious pollution in the event of an oil leak; fewer emissions of SOx and NOx, and a positive image for Iceland.

However, the costs would be more expensive fuel, a need for increased monitoring, and enforcement by implementing stricter regulation.

The agency said that about 26% of all vessels sailing through Icelandic waters burned HFOs of some kind.

Establishing an ECA area in Icelandic would require extensive work and would be costly, the Agency concluded.

Two other possibilities were mentioned:

1)    establishing ECA areas within Fjords

2)    establishing an ECA area within the 12 mile limit.

Neither of these alternatives would need IMO clearance