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Setting Canadian Standards for Sulphur in Heavy and Light Fuel Oils
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Background
- 3. Existing Regulations Controlling Sulphur Levels in HFO and LFO
- 4. Emissions Resulting from the Combustion of Fuel Oils
- 5. Environmental and Health Effects of Reducing Sulphur in Fuel Oils
- 6. Potential Costs of Implementing European-style Sulphur Levels
- 7. Potential Price Differential Between Low and High Sulphur Fuel Oils
- 8. Other Considerations
- 9. Path Forward: Potential Instruments to Reduce Sulphur in Canadian Fuel Oils
- 10. Questions for Stakeholders
- 11. Next Steps
- Appendix 1: List of Background Reports
- Appendix 2: Federal Notice of Intent on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels (February 2001)
- Appendix 3: Production, Imports, Exports and Use of Light and Heavy Fuel oils in Canada from 1985 to Year 2001
- Appendix 4: Consumption of Low Sulphur and Regular Heavy Fuel Oils in the United States by PAD Districts
- Appendix 5: End Use of Fuel Oils by Sector
- Appendix 6: Example of Regulatory Text for Setting Requirements for Sulphur in Fuel Oils
Download the report in Adobe PDF format (268 KB).
Discussion Paper on Meeting the Commitments of the Notice of Intent on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels
Fuels Division, Oil, Gas and Energy Branch, Environment Canada
List of Figures
- Figure 2.1: 2001 National Trend of Sulphur Content in Heavy Fuel Oil
- Figure 2.2: 2001 National Trend of Sulphur Content in Light Fuel Oil
- Figure 2.3: Canadian Consumption of Fuel Oils for year 2001(in million m3)
- Figure 2.4: Historical Data from 1985 to year 2001 on production imports and exports of heavy oil in Canada
- Figure 2.5: Historical Data from 1985 to year 2001 on production imports and exports of light oil in Canada
- Figure 3.1: Sulphur Limits for Heavy Oil in Northeastern States
- Figure 4.1: 1995 Canadian Estimated Annual SOx Emissions from HFO Use by Province
- Figure 4.2: 1995 Canadian Estimated Annual SOx Emissions from LFO Use by Province
- Figure 4.3: Sectoral Contributions to Eastern SOx Inventory from HFO Use
- Figure 4.4: Sectoral Contributions to Eastern SOx Inventory from LFO Use
- Figure 7.1: Historical Price Difference Between Regular HFO and Low Sulphur HFO in US Northeastern States
List of Tables
- Table 2.1: Sulphur Level in Heavy Fuel Oil used in Canada in Year 2001
- Table 2.2: Sulphur Level in Light Fuel Oil used in Canada in Year 2001
- Table 2.3: Distribution of Sulphur in Liquid Fuels in 2001
- Table 3.1: Summary of Regulations for Sulphur in Heavy Fuel Oil in Various Countries
- Table 3.2: Summary of Regulations for Sulphur in Light Fuel Oil in Various Countries
- Table 4.1: Typical SO2 Emissions from Various Grades of Heavy and Light Fuel Oils
- Table 5.1: Eastern Canadian Land Area in Exeedance of Wet SO4 Critical Load for Reference and Fuel Oils Emission Scenarios
- Table 5.2: Eastern Canadian land area (in 1000 km2) in Exeedance of Wet SO4 Critical Load for Reference and Fuel Oils Emission Scenarios for Different Thresholds
- Table 7.1: Historical Monthly Price Differences (CAN cents per litre) in US Northeastern States between Regular Heavy Fuel Oil (>1% wt. sulphur) and Low Sulphur HFO (1% wt. sulphur or lower)
- Table 8.1: SO2 Reduction Targets for Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
As set out in the "Notice of Intent on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels" published in the Canada Gazette (February 17,2001), Environment Canada is developing measures to reduce the level of sulphur in fuel oils used in stationary facilities. This Discussion Paper is intended to initiate and facilitate discussions with stakeholders to determine the most appropriate approach. It reviews existing international regulations controlling sulphur levels in fuel oils, discusses analytical results from completed background studies, assesses the potential reductions on acidic deposition and emissions of sulphur dioxide and fine particulates as a result of matching the limits set by the European Union, and explores options for the development of appropriate complimentary measures to regulations, such as economic instruments.
Issues reviewed in this paper will be reviewed at a workshop to take place in Atlantic Canada within a month after the release of this document. The Discussion Paper specifically sets out the following issues on which Environment Canada is seeking the views of interested parties:
1. What should be the appropriate sulphur level in Canadian fuel oils and what should be the timing for reducing sulphur?
2. What liquid fuels should this initiative address?
3. Are there any other (non-sulphur) parameters that should be controlled in fuel oils?
4. Which of the following instruments should be considered for use in Canada to reduce sulphur in fuel oils?
- Tradable Permits
- Emission trading
- Product trading
- Sulphur Taxes
- Tax differential
- Product tax
- Sulphur emission taxv
- Fuel Quality Regulations
- Combination of Instruments
- Regulations and tax
- Regulations and emission trading
- Tax and emission trading
5. Are there any combinations of instruments that improve environmental effectiveness and/or lower overall cost? (e.g., Could fiscal instruments be used to accelerate the introduction of low sulphur fuel oils in advance of any regulatory requirement?)
6. How should the instruments be designed to maximize environmental benefits such as reduction in emissions of sulphur dioxide, greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and other air contaminants (metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, etc.) while ensuring that costs are maintained at a reasonable level?
7. Should any Canadian measures developed to reduce the sulphur in fuel oils include the flexibility included in the European Union's directive of allowing, for example, the combustion of higher sulphur fuel oils in facilities equipped with emission control technology? Should this option differ depending on the industry sector involved?
8. Should measures also be developed to prohibit facilities that currently use fuel oils from switching to higher sulphur fuels or otherwise "dirtier" fuels? How would such measures be structured and should they be incorporated in the design of the measure that reduces sulphur in fuel oils?
In addition, specific questions on a potential design of a regulation are set out in Appendix 6.
Following the workshop, interested parties will be requested to provide written comments on the issues set out in this paper. Based on this process, Environment Canada plans to develop an action plan and path forward to reduce sulphur in Canadian fuel oils.
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