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IMAROS 2, 2024-2025

IMpacts And Response Options regarding low sulphur marine fuel oil Spills






2024 - 2025


of which

€176,000 EU/DG-ECHO

European Union (DG-ECHO)



Norwegian Coastal Administration (Norway)

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Belgium)

Royal Danish Navy Command (Denmark)

Swedish Coast Guard (Sweden)

Transport Malta (Malta)

Rajavartiolaitos, Finnish Border Guard (Finland)

Rijkswaterstaat (Netherlands)

Cedre (France)


This two-year project, co-funded by the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism (EU/DG-ECHO), involving 7 partners, follows on from the IMAROS project which ran from 2020 to 2022 and was funded by the same mechanism.

Within the framework of this project, a study will be carried out on the products currently on the European market in order to determine their characteristics and understand the changes in the market share of these fuels since the “IMO 2020“ rule came into force. Samples will then be selected for testing in France (at Cedre), Belgium, Norway and Finland.

The first phase of the study will be conducted Cedre and will aim to determine the physico-chemical characteristics and behaviour at sea of several LSFOs (low sulphur fuel oils) both in the laboratory and at pilot scale. North Sea conditions (5°C) will be simulated, as well as Mediterranean conditions (25°C), as this region is set to become an Emission Control Area for sulphur oxides (SECA). RBINS will be responsible for modelling the products’ behaviour and precisely identifying them. The toxicity and biodegradability of LSFOs will also be studied at Cedre.

During the IMAROS project, it was shown that some LSFOs were difficult to recover using existing skimmers, particularly in the case of products with high pour points. One of the aims of IMAROS 2 is to involve skimmer manufacturers in order to discuss the problems encountered and have some of them participate in trials in Norway (NCA) and in Finland (FBG). The aim of these trials is to test modifications that could be made to the skimmers for use in the open sea and in ice-infested waters.

The final part of the project will focus on response if such a spill reaches the shoreline. The product’s behaviour when in contact with rocky and sandy substrates will be studied. Experiments on the degradation of LSFO and recolonisation by marine organisms will be carried out on granite plates installed in the natural environment for one year, in France (Brest roadstead), Norway, the United Kingdom (NCA) and Malta (TM). Different clean-up techniques will also be tested at Cedre and in Norway (NCA): pressure washing, washing agents, recovery...

The project results will be summarised to provide response operators both on and offshore with operational recommendations for dealing with LSFO spills.


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