KNect356 recently asked IBIA to respond to this question:  What are the 5 steps everyone should take to prepare for 2020 compliance in order to neutralise short-term challenges and prepare for long-term goals? Why?

For the benefit of IBIA members, here is our response:

I’m not sure there are five steps that apply to everyone. IBIA’s members include stakeholders right across the marine fuel chain from well to stack and a range of service providers, so we take a broad-based view on industry issues. How to prepare depends on a variety of factors including which business you are in and your area(s) of operation. You may need to take a global view, but even then it would be wise to gain an understanding of issues that may be specific to a region.

Having said that, it seems the first step everyone should take is to build a clear picture of your own business needs and/or identify what you can offer. For a ship owner/operator this would include assessing and then deciding, as soon as possible, on the 2020 compliance options they want to pursue. Their solutions will depend on the ship type/age/size and area of operation and it may not be the same across the fleet. For the supply side it would be developing suitable marine fuels while for service providers it would be identifying what type of support they can offer or solutions to potential problems.

The second step, having identified business needs and/or solutions, would be to communicate these to the various parties you will rely on to meet these needs and/or letting them know which solutions you have to offer. One clear-cut example of this is for ship operators that choose a niche solution – such as scrubbers, LNG or methanol – to ensure they can get supply of the fuel they need. Neither high sulphur fuel oil, nor LNG, will be readily available in every port around the world so it may be necessary to establish contracts to guarantee supply.

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