Sunday 18th Nov, 2018

Sulphur cap for bunkers start-date coming up fast

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

THE marine fuel sulphur cap implementation on 1 January 2020 is coming up fast and the International Chamber of Shipping has warned that time is running out fast to prepare for the impending change.

The IMO global sulphur cap for marine fuel is expected to cause bunker prices to increase significantly.

ICS chairman Ebsen Poulsson said the overnight introduction of the regulatory “game-changer” will have enormous implications for ship operations and it is vital to get it right.

“As well as concerns as to whether sufficient quantities of compliant low-sulphur fuels will be available in every port, there are a number of complex practical issues which IMO needs to urgently resolve within the next 18 months if the unfair treatment of ships is to be avoided,” he said.

The ICS is concerned that the absence of agreed standards for new fuels that will be compliant with the 0.5% sulphur limit could lead to serious compatibility and mechanical problems.

Mr Poulsson said it was vital that ship operators, charterers and fuel purchasers start making the necessary preparations to be ready for this major change.

“This also means that oil refiners and bunker supplier swill need to ensure that compliant fuels are actually available for ships to purchase well in advance of January 2020,” he said.

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