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Comparison of the economic performances of three sulphur oxides emissions abatement solutions for a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)


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Fan, H, Tu, H, Enshaei, H ORCID: 0000-0002-5649-7015, Xu, X and Wei, Y 2021 , 'Comparison of the economic performances of three sulphur oxides emissions abatement solutions for a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)' , Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, vol. 9, no. 2 , pp. 1-21 , doi: 10.3390/jmse9020221.

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Ship-source air pollutants, especially sulphur oxides (SOx), have a major impact on human health, the marine environment and the natural resources. Therefore, control of SOx emissions has become a main concern in the maritime industry. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a global limit on sulphur content of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) in marine fuels which has entered into effect on 1 January 2020.To comply with the sulphur limits, ship owners are facing the need to select suitable abatement solutions. The choice of a suitable solution is a compromise among many issues, but the economic performance offers the basis for which ones are attractive to ship owners. Currently, there are three technologically feasible SOx abatement solutions that could be used by ships, namely, liquified natural gas (LNG) as a fuel (Solution A), scrubbers (Solution B) and low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) (Solution C). To compare the economic performances of the mentioned three solutions for a newbuilding very large crude carrier (VLCC), this paper proposes a voyage expenses-based method (VEM). It was found that, within the initial target payback period of 6 years, Solution A and C are more expensive than Solution B, while Solution C is more competitive than Solution A. Five scenarios of target payback years were assumed to compare the trends of the three proposed solutions. The results show that Solution B maintains its comparative advantage. As the assumed target payback years becomes longer, the economy of Solution A gradually improves and the economics of Solution B and C gradually decline. A comparison between Solution A and C shows 6.5 years is a turning point. The advantage of Solution A is prominent after this payback period. In addition, the performance of a certain solution in terms of adaptability to the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations is also a factor that ship owner need to consider when making decisions. In conclusion, when the IMO air pollutant regulations and GHG regulations are considered simultaneously, the advantages of using LNG are obvious.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Fan, H and Tu, H and Enshaei, H and Xu, X and Wei, Y
Keywords: VLCC, sulphur oxides, LNG as a marine fuel, LNG-fuelled ship, LNG bunkering, scrubber, low-sulphur fuel oil, EEDI
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International
ISSN: 2077-1312
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/jmse9020221
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Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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