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Shippers With Pollution-Curbing Equipment See Huge Fuel Savings

So-called scrubbers allow vessels to burn dirtier and much cheaper high-sulfur fuel oil.

Emissions rise from the exhaust of a container vessel.

Emissions rise from the exhaust of a container vessel.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Updated on

Ship-owners that invested in pollution-reducing equipment to let them burn dirtier fuel are enjoying massive discounts due to a supply glut.

Owners of vessels who installed so-called scrubbers are buying high-sulfur fuel oil at a discount of more than $500 a ton in Asia compared with cleaner varieties. The collapse in HSFO prices has been partially driven by increased Russian flows, according to traders. The cost of very-low sulfur fuel oil, meanwhile, has surged as more of its feedstock gets refined into gasoline.