How shipowners have adapted to sulphur regulations – Evidence from Finnish seaborne trade

Tomi Solakivi*, Sini Laari, Tuomas Kiiski, Juuso Töyli, Lauri Ojala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


From the beginning of 2020, the IMO regulation limiting ships’ fuel sulphur content to 0.5% will become effective. This limit has been preceded by the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) already since 2015. In practice, there are multiple abatement methods for the industry to comply with the regulation. Subject to corporate strategy, technical development and operating areas, none of them has gained dominancy. Through the case of vessels calling port in Finland, this research provides empirical evidence on how the industry has reacted on the implementation of the SECA. This paper uses descriptive analysis and logistic regression to form a profile of vessels for which the instalment of scrubbers has been considered, and for which the other abatement methods are found superior. The results indicate that younger vessels in regular traffic on the SECA areas, especially the Roll on - Roll off vessels are most likely to be equipped with scrubbers, whereas majority of ships calling at Finnish ports have switched to cleaner fuel grade. For the year 2020, this would indicate scrubbers to be the dominating abatement method for the global fleet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-345
Number of pages8
JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Baltic Sea
  • Environmental regulations
  • Finland
  • Shipping
  • Sulphur emission abatement method
  • Sulphur emission control area


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