News Round-Up: 18 February – 24 February 2020


Scorpio Tankers in fourth quarter turnaround driven by sulfur regulation

The lead-up to the new sulfur regulation was one of the main reasons that Scorpio Tankers delivered significantly improved earnings for the fourth quarter.

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Low-sulfur fuel premium approaching normal levels

The price spread between low-sulfur fuel and heavy bunker is normalizing, while previous shortages of the fuel at major bunker ports seem to be under control, writes Sea-Intelligence.

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Coronavirus: Chinese owners seek sulphur cap reprieve

China’s shipowners’ association suggests Beijing should halt the IMO sulphur mandate in the country’s waters for a few months in order to reduce the financial burden brought by the spread of coronavirus




Trident Alliance Remains Cautious Over Declaring IMO 2020 Mission Accomplished

The Trident Alliance, the industry group set up to lobby for a level playing field in enforcement of marine sulfur limits, is wary of declaring its tasks is completed just yet.



Gazprom Neft Boosts VLSFO Production at Omsk Refinery

Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft has increased its production of very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) with the installation of more pipelines at its Omsk refinery.




Green Bunker Demand Jumps at Rotterdam

Low-sulfur fuel sales rose sharply in Rotterdam in the last quarter leading up to the implementation of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 0.5pc sulfur cap on 1 January.




News Round-Up: 11 February – 17 February 2020


New fuels challenge Hapag-Lloyd: “I wouldn’t say that everything is totally relaxed”

German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has “in more than once instance” had fuels delivered that do not comply with the new sulfur regulations. “You can’t use non-compliant fuel. Period,” managing director tells ShippingWatch.

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Singapore Bunker Demand Reaches Two-Year High at Start of IMO2020

Bunker demand in Singapore rose for a second month both on a monthly and yearly basis in January despite an earlier Lunar Year celebration and the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.


News Round-up: 4 February – 10 February 2020


India removes import tax on low-sulfur fuel

Several Indian ports do not have sufficient volumes of new low-sulfur fuels, prompting India to remove the import tax on the new fuels, according to Reuters.

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New fuels contain a surprising amount of impurities and water

The new 0.5-percent fuels have more sediments and contains more water than expected. The problems could continue for another six months, several testing companies tell ShippingWatch.

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Danske Bank divested shipping stocks in 2019 due to new sulfur rules

Banking major Danske Bank reduced its stock holdings in Danish shipping companies like Torm and Norden in 2019. The new sulfur regulations are one of two major reasons, investment strategist tells ShippingWatch.

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Hapag-Lloyd trials biofuel on boxship

German liner Hapag-Lloyd has launched the trial of B20 fuel, a combination of low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and bio-diesel based on cooking oil, on its 4,400 teu panamax containership Montreal Express. Many other shipping lines such as Norden, CMA CGM and Maersk are also carrying out their own biofuel experiments at the moment.


News Round-up: 27 January – 3 February 2020


Shipping bodies respond to black carbon claims

A host of shipping bodies have replied in an open letter to the Clean Arctic Alliance in an ongoing spat about the potential for very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) to emit more black carbon emissions than high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO). In the wake of a joint submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO)



High black carbon emissions from VLSFO heaps pressure on IMO

Following on from a landmark study funded by the German Environment Agency that suggests some blends of the new very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) contain higher black carbon emissions than its forebear, high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is coming under pressure to ban the new fuel in Arctic waters.



Hill Dickinson warns to plan ahead for March debunkering deadline

The transition to low sulphur fuels has so far been smooth, thanks to the efforts of shipping industry stakeholders in preparing for the change, which entered into force on January 1st this year.



VLSFO associated with higher black carbon emissions than HFO

Three weeks after the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) global regulation on sulphur content in fuel oil entered into force, new figures indicate that very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) compliant with the new regulation, is just as detrimental to the environment as conventional heavy fuel oil (HFO).



Sulphur regs going smoothly, but plan ahead to meet March debunkering deadline, warns Hill Dickinson

The transition to low sulphur fuels has so far been smooth, thanks to the efforts of shipping industry stakeholders in preparing for the change, which entered into force on January 1st this year. However, there are some issues arising over the margin for error in testing the sulphur content and the presence of sediment is causing concern in some areas, warns maritime law specialist Hill Dickinson. And, as the 1st March deadline for part two of the regulations looms, the legal expert advises ship operators to start planning now to debunker any remaining high sulphur fuel in good time.



GSF issues advice on managing surcharges for low sulphur fuel

Whilst shippers should support the reduction in harmful emissions, they should be wary of being expected to pick up the bill for achieving them, trade body underlines.



CRU: IMO 2020 – Lower Sulphur Means Higher Freight Rates

When we last looked at the IMO 2020 MARPOL Annex VI policy back in 2018 Q4, there were many sources of ambiguity in terms of the outlook. These included scrubber uptake, fuel options and availability, freight rates and the expectations on policy enforcement. As we approach the 1 January 2020 deadline for the policy, we have greater clarity on the likely impact of the policy on fuel prices. CRU’s view is that the IMO 2020 regulation is likely to raise freight rates by around 10-20%.



Commentary – Who pays for IMO 2020?

The United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) implemented its low-sulfur fuel mandate on January 1, 2020. Full enforcement begins in…




IBIA disagrees with critical study of new fuels

It is still far too soon to draw conclusions about the new low-sulfur fuels, says the IBIA in the wake of harsh criticism from environmental organizations. The IBIA is surprised by the study’s conclusions.

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Container lines struggling to pass sulfur bill on to customers

The container shipping lines have not been able to push the costs of the new sulfur regulations on to customers in January. At least not when looking at backhaul voyages, notes analyst firm Sea-Intelligence.

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Study: New fuels are more harmful to the Arctic

A new preliminary study links the new low-sulfur fuels, which most of the commercial fleet now sails on, to black carbon. Environmental organizations call for answers and action from the IMO and oil companies.

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Oil traders made billions in 2019 as conflict shook the market

Several of the world’s biggest commodity traders and fossil supermajors made record profits 2019 by playing clever hands in an unstable energy market year characterized by supply problems, Middle East conflicts, sanctions as well as maritime enterprises scurrying to prepare for the IMO2020 sulfur rules taking effect on Jan. 1.

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