Managing the Switch to Low Sulphur Fuels

Managing the Switch to Low Sulphur Fuels

There is less than 18 months to go until the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global 0.5 per cent sulphur cap comes into force. From the 1st of January 2020, the marine landscape will dramatically change and many questions still remain unanswered. Vessel operators will need to take extra care in the face of this uncertainty as there are a number of issues that will likely require managing when the revised sulphur cap arrives.

Amongst these issues comes the increased likelihood of compatibility problems, along with the chance of heightened levels of cat fines.
Unless operators opt to install abatement technology known as scrubbers, and continue to burn heavy fuel oil (HFO), it will be therefore essential for the marine industry to prepare for the switch to compliant options and develop a set of actions that will minimise the risks associated with the move to new low-sulphur fuels:

  • Establish Best Practice
  • Test for Cat Fines
  • Check for Compatibilty
  • Monitor for sludge
  • Choose a Reliable Fuels Partner

Read the full article here.

Odfjell: Scrubbers Don’t Make Sense for IMO 2020

Odfjell: Scrubbers Don’t Make Sense for IMO 2020

While there are certain scenarios that would make scrubber’s an attractive solution for IMO 2020 compliance, Odfjell SE CEO, Kristian Mørch, believes that overall the technology does not make sense.

Speaking in a Q&A session during the firm’s latest Q2 earnings webcast, Mørch’s views closely mirrored those of Maersk, in that he favoured a land-based solution but his company may still invest in the technology to help understand it.

“It’s something we’ve spent a lot of time analysing and trying to understand. I think fundamentally we have difficulty in seeing why an industry with 60,000 ships should try and solve a problem that actually should be solved ashore,” said Mørch.

“The people that supply in the bunker market will have to adapt whatever regulations goes on in that market.”

Read the full article here.

How ship operators can organise the switch to low-sulphur fuel

How ship operators can organise the switch to low-sulphur fuel

John LaRese, marine fuels technical advisor at ExxonMobil, explains why vessel operators must plan well ahead to ensure they comply with the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap by the 2020 deadline

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decision to implement a 0.5% cap on sulphur emissions has created uncertainty among passenger ship and other vessel operators. Questions are already being asked about how to comply with the changing emissions target, as well as what types of fuels will be available and where. However, ensuring compliance isn’t just about fuel selection; the actual switchover process from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to new, low-sulphur alternatives needs careful management. There are also implications for the selection of lubricants.

Vessel operators will need to take a series of important steps before bunkering a low-sulphur fuel; they will have to work out arrangements that meet the specific requirements of their vessels. Without careful preparation operators may jeopardise their sulphur compliance, which carries the risk of costly fines. They must also plan around fuel availability, given the possibility that some ports may be unable to meet the demand from the industry.

Unless a vessel is fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubber), operators will need to ensure that their fuel tanks do not contain high-sulphur HFO by the IMO deadline. Fuel tanks will probably retain sediment from the existing HFO, which is likely to contain those higher levels of sulphur. If this is not removed, there is the risk that the compliant fuel will be contaminated, pushing its sulphur content above the 0.5% limit.

Read the full article here.

Covering lubricant options for a post-2020 world

Covering lubricant options for a post-2020 world

A great deal of coverage has been given to the availability or otherwise of different fuel types after 2020. Much less thought seems to have been given to how the lubrication of marine engines will be affected and what practical steps need to be taken by shipowners and operators. Shell Marine’s post-2020 cylinder oil expectations are based on a defined position on marine fuel use after the IMO’s cap on sulphur content comes into play.

The choice of cylinder oil is typically determined by three factors: the marine engine itself; the fuel being used; and the vessel’s operating conditions. Given this, the limitation of sulphur content to 0.5% in marine fuel from 2020 by the International Maritime Organization will have a significant impact on cylinder oil selection.

Shipowners should by now be some way to determining what their reaction to the new situation will be, although many seem to be still in the process of defining a plan or are waiting for the situation to crystalise. Shell Marine’s expectation is that 90% or more of the shipping fleet will switch to fuels with a sulphur level of <0.5% in the run up to January 2020. This will be a mixture of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and distillate fuels.

We believe that fewer than 2,000 ships will be fitted with scrubbers to continue running on HSFO by that date and that, with a high-end estimate of 200 ships running on LNG, combined no more than 10% of ships will be accounted for by HSHFO, LNG or any other alternative. Our expectation is that up to 3 million b/d of HSFO demand will be displaced by <0.5% sulphur content fuels.

Read the full article here.

INSIGHT: Organising the Switch to Low Sulphur Fuel

INSIGHT: Organising the Switch to Low Sulphur Fuel

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decision to implement a 0.50 per cent cap on sulphur emissions has created uncertainty amongst vessel operators. Questions are already being asked about how to comply with the changing emissions target, what types of fuels will be available and where. However, ensuring compliance isn’t just about fuel selection; the actual switchover process from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to new, low-sulphur alternatives needs careful management. There are also implications for the selection of lubricants.

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