||RTI International, Chicago, IL.; EnSys Energy & Systems Inc., Lexington, MA.; Navigistics Consulting, Boxborough, MA.; Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with other regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada, is considering whether to designate one or more SOx Emission Control Areas (SECAs) along the North American coastline, as provided for by MARPOL Annex VI. This addition to the international MARPOL treaty went into effect on May 19, 2005, and places limits on both NOx and SOx emissions. According to the terms of the treaty, ships calling on ports in signatory countries must use bunker fuelthe industry vernacular for marine fuelswith sulfur content by weight at or below 4.5%. Countries participating in the treaty are also permitted to request designation of SECAs, in which ships must treat their exhaust to a level not exceeding 6.0 grams of SOx per kilowatt-hour or further reduce the sulfur content of their fuel to 1.5%. The Baltic and North Sea areas have already been designated as SECAs, and the effective dates of compliance in these bodies of water were 2006 and 2007, respectively. To evaluate possible recommendations regarding North American SECAs, EPA requires a thorough examination of potential responses by the petroleum-refining and ocean-transport industries to such a designation, along with any resulting economic impacts. EPA contracted with RTI International to provide a foundation for these recommendations through developing the knowledge, data, and modeling capabilities needed for such an analysis; assess technology alternatives for reducing sulfur emissions from ships; and estimate the impact a SECA designation would have on the petroleum-refining and ocean transport industries. The analytical team comprising RTI, EnSys Energy & Systems, and Navigistics Consulting has assessed current and future conditions in global fuels market to provide this foundation.