Is There Any Industry Support for a Phase Out of Heavy Fuel Oil in the Arctic?

Yes, Hurtigruten, a Norwegian cruise line, and Arctia, a Finnish state-owned company responsible for operating a Finnish icebreaker fleet, support a ban on the carriage and use of HFO as fuel in Arctic waters.[1]  In addition, the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has confirmed its support for a ban on the carriage and use of HFO as fuel in the Arctic.

There are also a number of industry associations, including Danish Shipping and the Norwegian Shipowners Association, that support a ban on just the use of HFO as fuel in the Arctic. This means that although ships would be prohibited from burning HFO as fuel when transiting Arctic waters, ships could continue to carry HFO as bunkers for use as fuel outside of Arctic waters. While this type of restriction would substantially help reducing some of the harmful emissions associated with burning HFO, it would have a very limited effect on the risk of an HFO spill. For this reason, the Clean Arctic Alliance believes that this level of support simply does not go far enough. The Clean Arctic Coalition will continue to identify other shipping and cargo companies that choose not to use HFO in the Arctic and support the use and carriage ban of HFO as fuel in Arctic waters.

[1] See Thomas Nilsen, Hurtigruten CEO Calls for a Size Limit on Arctic Cruises,” The Independent Barents Observer, (August 22, 2016), available at:; and Ship & Bunker, Duel-Duel Icebreakers Polaris Enters Service in Finland (November 3, 2016), available at: