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IMAROS, 2020-2022

Improving response capacities and understanding the environmental impacts of new generation low sulphur marine fuel oil spills









including €175,000 European Union/DG-ECHO


European Union



Norwegian Coastal Administration (Norway)

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Belgium)

Royal Danish Navy Command (Denmark)

Swedish Coast Guard (Sweden)

Transport Malta (Malta)

cedre (France)


IMAROS is a 2-year European project involving 6 partners.

This project aims to pool knowledge and experience from different countries in the UCPM (Union Civil Protection Mechanism). The project will identify the most relevant products to study among the new generation of fuel oils used by ships in Europe. These oils will be analysed and studied to identify their physical and chemical characteristics and their behaviour at sea. Practical tests to assess response equipment or techniques will help to determine the best strategic choices and equipment for spill response and thus help to strengthen emergency response capacities. Thanks to the enhancement of knowledge achieved through this project, it will be possible to improve existing capacities, based on factual data, and to identify the challenges to be met to foster the development of new technologies.

The project is divided into four work packages. In addition to those devoted to project management (WP1) and compilation of knowledge (WP2), there are 2 main focuses:

  • the study of this range of products, then assessment of a certain number of them, in particular their behaviour and weathering when released in the marine environment (WP3). Different environmental conditions will be simulated, through both experimentation and modelling;
  • the testing of different response techniques and equipment in near-real-life conditions while controlling environmental parameters (WP4). This should result in better knowledge of the possibilities for and constraints on recovery operations for this new type of fuel, important points for mitigating the impact on the environment. The overall aim is to develop recommendations for response techniques and potentially to offer advice on how to modify existing response capacities or even contribute to the development of concepts, techniques or equipment. The Member States of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism will be able to use this knowledge to adjust their offshore response capacities and make more enlightened decisions.


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