An alternative, but …

In shipping we do have an alternative to heavy fuel: gas oil, a distillate mixture of crude oil refining. It is cleaner and more resistant to cold than heavy fuel, but more expensive as well.

To maritime shipping this fuel is being offered as “marine diesel oil” and “marine gasoil” in the qualities of DMA, DMB, DMC and DMX. Specified through the ISO standard 8217. (See below.)

Being similar to diesel and light heating oil, the four oils basically differ in terms of density, viscosity and sulphur content.

Fair enough. The greatest disadvantage of these oils is the limit for sulphur content of 1 to 2 percent by weight. Thereby it is impossible to drive into Emission Control Areas.*

Yet again there is an alternative. Namely gasoil with a low level of sulphur content which can be negotiated in the purchase.


DMA  =  medium gasoil
DMB  =  relatively heavy gasoil
DMC  =  heavy gasoil, possibly with added residue
DMX  =  very light, resistant to cold gasoil (usually used as emergency fuel only)