Scrubbers: Closing the loop; Activity 3. Task 3; Cost benefit analysis.

This report presents the results of a cost benefit analysis (CBA) of ship operations on HFO together with open-loop and closed-loop scrubbers, compared to low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO). An increasing number of ships are expected to be equipped with SO2 exhaust gas cleaning, so called scrubber technology, in response to stricter global regulations on sulphur emissions from ships in 2020. The compliance strategy for ship owners is either to use a low sulphur fuel, or to continue operations on HFO and install exhaust gas SO2 scrubbers on board their ships.

The resulting external costs of environmental and health damage associated with air and water emissions are higher for the scrubber scenarios than in the case of low-sulphur fuel use. The external costs were to a large extent influenced by the fuel needed to run the scrubbers. The fuel penalty associated with the use of scrubbers causes more emission than the low sulphur fuel oil option, followed by higher external costs. From an environmental and health perspective and in line with the precautionary principle, operations on low sulphur fuels therefore seem to be more preferable than operations on HFO together with an exhaust gas scrubber.

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Last updated: 2021-05-05

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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