WITH the deadline for the sulphur cap approaching in January 2020, the International Chamber of Shipping chairman Esben Poulsson advised shipowners to prepare their vessels now for the implementation plans of 2020.

“This should be carried out using the IMO template adopted at the industry’s request and the detailed advice prepared by ICS which we have just updated to take account of other recent IMO decisions,” Mr Pulsson said, pointing out it would reduce chances of teething problems or issues with port-state control.

Mr Poulsson called on the IMO to address potential implementation problems, safety and fuel compatibility, and uncertainty about fuel availability at their meeting in May 2019.

“We need IMO to make progress with short term GHG [greenhouse gas] reduction measures as soon as possible to achieve measurable additional GHG reductions by 2023, in addition to the 8% total reduction already achieved by the sector since 2008, despite a massive increase in maritime trade over the same period,” he said.

“But while these short-term measures are very important, we want IMO to move on to developing the critical long-term measures that will truly help the industry to decarbonise completely.”  


The global sulphur cap is projected to starkly change the economics of shipping for the better by creating reduction targets for greenhouse gases and moving into what Mr Poulsson calls a “multi-fuel future.” One such change would be the commercially viable zero carbon dioxide to arrive in the 2030’s and to be used in a wide array of applications.

“The ICS board agreed that the industry cannot achieve the 2050 GHG reduction target using fossil fuels,” Mr Poulsson said.

“Over the next decade we are therefore going to require massive investment in research and development of zero carbon dioxide emitting propulsion systems and other technologies which don’t yet exist in a form that can be readily applied to international shipping, especially in deep sea trades. This will need to be a key component of the IMO strategy when detailed ideas for long term measures are taken forward during 2020.”

ICS has proposed a bright future in the reduction targets of greenhouse gases, “…including a 40% efficiency improvement by 2030 and a 50% total cut in the sector’s GHG emissions by 2050,” according to a press release from ICS.