Russian minister urges to reduce use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic
According to Russia’s Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi, “it would be good to reduce the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic,” news agency TASS reports. “We are discussing this possibility on various platforms that are concerned with the Arctic,” he said.
Donskoi explained that the Arctic Council has launched a green shipping project to build vessels that will use LNG as fuel to reduce the use of HFO. “We believe that we should start by increasing the number of LNG-powered vessels,” the minister said.
Canada submitted a proposal on measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of HFO as marine fuel in Arctic waters at the 71st session of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71). According to WWF, the Canadian proposal has been supported by Russia, the United States, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and several non-Arctic countries. Specific proposals to reduce the risks of HFO will be considered by MEPC 72 in April 2018.
WWF has pointed out that more active navigation in the Arctic is increasing the risk of accidents and HFO spills, and that HFO is one of the dirtiest and most polluting types of fuel. WWF Russia has supported the idea of using LNG as marine fuel to reduce the risk of polluting the Arctic with HFO.