20 April – 16 stories in our News Round-Up this week, including the effect of Covid-19, Scrubbers and Low Sulphur fuel the economics.

Sulfur Out, Scrubbers In

IMO 2020 marks the start of shipping’s journey toward sustainability. 

When it comes to environmental pollutants, carbon dioxide is public enemy number one. Yet new regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) target a different toxic molecule: sulfur dioxide. 


Monitoring compliance on the backburner

The Covid-19 pandemic is masking the true picture of sulphur 2020 compliance, according to maritime consultancy Hill Dickinson.


GLOBAL: Teekay reiterates IMO 2020 compliance strategy; still says ‘no’ to scrubbers

In its 2019 Sustainability Report published this week, Teekay says, ‘The scrubber in its present form is not an optimal solution to deal with the stringent and growing limitations to sulphur emission.


AMERICAS: NYC Ferry takes delivery of low-emission ferries

Hornblower’s NYC Ferry operation has taken delivery of two low-emission, Tier 4 compliance passenger ferries designed by Incat Crowther.


Diesel starts competing with jet, gasoline for floating storage in Europe

Ultra-low sulfur diesel is entering into competition with jet fuel and gasoline for floating storage as onland locations across Europe reach capacity amid a sharp fall in diesel demand and a very steep contango making the economics potentially workable, according to industry sources.


HSFO Med/North swap hits record low as Med demand weakens

The fuel oil swap product comparing high sulfur fuel oil values in Northwest Europe against its Mediterranean counterpart, known by many as the Med/North, hit record lows Wednesday as HSFO came under pressure from falling bunker demand.


Feb oil refining capacity use rises to 80.1%

Argentina’s use of oil refining capacity rose to 80.1% in February from 71.7% in the year-earlier month, as rising local crude production made more supplies available for processing, a government report showed Thursday.


How 2020 sulphur rules are turning out

One of the biggest concerns brought about by 2020 sulphur rules is unexpected – the availability of traditional fuels at traditional prices. There are also concerns about mixing non compatible fuels and decreased lubricity, writes Neil Graham, technical director of Royston.


EU CO2 emissions fell 8.9% in 2019: initial EC data

Carbon dioxide emissions under the EU Emissions Trading System fell by an indicative 8.9% in 2019 from the previous year, according to an analysis of initial figures released by the European Commission Wednesday. https://www.bunkerworld.com/news/156857

Monjasa reaps fruit from IMO 2020 preparations

Danish bunker company Monjasa reported an improved business performance on the back of the sulphur cap regulation that entered into force on January 1, 2020, marking a global transition of ships to cleaner fuels. https://assafinaonline.com/maritime-news/assafina-news/offshore-2/monjasa-reaps-fruit-from-imo-2020

Major shippers like Lego and Ikea demand climate action after coronavirus

Some of the biggest customers of container lines, like Nestlé, Lego and Ikea, demand that politicians prioritize climate change mitigation once the corona pandemic is beaten. And not to do as they did after the financial crisis, the companies emphasize.


VLSFO Price Spreads Narrow Across Top Four Bunker Hubs

The VLSFO price spread between the most and the least expensive of the top four bunker ports narrowed by $7.50/mt to $23/mt on Monday.


Asia LSFO market draws clean fuel feedstock on flagging gasoline demand

The Asian low sulfur fuel oil market is drawing in feedstocks for blending into the marine fuel 0.5% pool that typically go into making clean fuels like gasoline, especially low sulfur vacuum gasoil, market sources said Tuesday.


Bunker fuel inspections expected to drop as coronavirus measures take center stage in shipping

The transition to the International Maritime Organization’s global low sulfur mandate and the high sulfur fuel oil carriage ban has been relatively smooth so far but inspections are set to drop as the focus has shifted to containing the coronavirus’ spread, with safe bunkering practices, crew changes and continuity of the global supply chain in shipping receiving more attention, sources say.


Coronavirus’ spread hurts scrubbers outlook in short run: EGCSA

The coronavirus pandemic has created a grim outlook for scrubbers in the short term as some shipowners prepare to divert their capital for other uses while a few defer planned installations either due to a narrowing high/very low sulfur fuel oil spread or a shortage of manpower at shipyards, Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association Director Donald Gregory said in an interview with S&P Global Platts. https://www.bunkerworld.com/news/insight/156832

Carriers cancel low-sulphur surcharges as fuel prices drop – along with demand

Container spot rates from Asia to Europe remained stable this week and, having withdrawn around a third of headhaul capacity for April, carriers will hope they have done enough to match the collapse in demand.


COVID-19 and the unsung heroes – our seafarers

Javed Ali and Sarah Barnes highlight some key points to assist shipowners in protecting their seafarers’ mental health during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.