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BANNED


Well seafarers and their 'guests' the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is at it again. Starting on August 01, 2011 all heavy fuel will be banned from Antarctica. So what does this mean? Most large ships including passenger ships use heavy fuel to steam on passage. They use lighter marine diesel oil (MDO) to manoeuvre in and out of ports then switch to a blend finally operating on the heavy fuel. Later they switch back to blend and finally operate on MDO to manoeuvre on arrival in the next port. Now with the ban to use and carry heavy fuel many large passenger ships are automatically banned from Antarctic cruises.

These larger ships are at present allowed to visit Antarctica but are not allowed to land passengers. The current limit is 100 passengers landing ashore at a time so landings are impractical for the larger ships that now carry hundreds or thousands of passengers. Smaller ships will still be able to make an Antarctic cruise, land 100 passengers but must carry and operate entirely on MDO. Larger ships could of course carry only and operate on MDO but would still not be allowed to land passengers. One of my former companies Holland America Line (HAL) is planning to do just that.

Good Watch.

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