Safety4Sea – 2020 sulphur cap: Precaution of ‘Compatibility’ and ‘Cold flow properties’ for compliant fuels

In the wake of the fast approaching implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap, the production method of the compliant fuel oils is expected to become more diverse than at present. As such, the Japan P&I Club noted five properties of residual fuel oils that should be further paid attention when using compliant fuel oils.

These are the five properties of residual fuel oils that should be further paid attention when using compliant fuel oils:

  • Compatibility
  • Cold flow properties
  • Low viscosity
  • Cat-fine (contents of Aluminum and Silicon)
  • Ignition and combustion quality



To support improved industry management of risk and safety ahead of the implementation of the 2020 Sulphur Cap, RightShip is asking the operators of vessels over 8,000 DWT to confirm their compliant fuel choices and ship implementation plans in a new compliance assessment, the company has announced today. More

Lloyd’s List – Fuel price spread hit record this month By Hwee Hwee Tan

Argus Media’s price assessments showed the price spread between 0.5% sulphur fuel oil and 3.5% sulphur fuel oil reaching a record high on November 14 before easing off this week. If this indicative price spread continues to hold above $200-per tonne, it may encourage shipowners to reassess scrubber installations (subscription)

Lloyd’s Loading List – Ocean freight customers face significant fuel price rise next month

Shippers and freight forwarders are preparing to help carriers cover the extra cost of next year’s cleaner, low-sulphur fuel from next month, for which prices look set to be around 34-38% higher than the level paid for the current IFO 380 (intermediate fuel oil) fuel. And although transitional or ‘emergency’ bunker charges were only expected to apply to spot rates and to contracts of less than three months, customers with annual contracts have also been requested by some carriers to start paying an IMO BAF from 1 December, container shipping analyst Drewry noted. More

Ship and Bunker – IMO Ready to Support PSC Regimes on Sulfur Cap Enforcement

Particularly in respect to capacity building and training.

Hong Kong Daily News – full article below

Many problems will arise from low-sulphur fuel use, says researcher

THE more one gets into the nuts and bolts of low greenhouse gas fuel, the more problematic it becomes, says Anders Valland, research chief at SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations.

While there is no perfect fuel, says Mr Valland, the most applicable and with the least greenhouse gas emissions are methanol, ethanol, butane, LNG, LPG and propane.

The problem, is that many of these fuels have lower energy densities than heavy fuel oil and marine diesel oil, requiring more space to provide the same energy, he told London’s Vessel Performance Optimisation (VPO) during a tour of his lab in Trondheim, Norway.

“It is more challenging for these fuels to bring the required energy for the operation of larger ships, and those that contribute the highest emissions,” he said.

Liquid hydrogen from renewable energy is one of the cleanest fuels, but it has a very low energy density and a large storage volume.

“If you have low energy density fuel, you will probably only be able to carry enough for one or maybe two legs of your journey. This means coming into port with low fuel supply,” he said.

Mr Valland went onto say that these large ships will fuel wherever the fuel is cheapest. The supplier knows these ships are looking for the cheapest fuel.

“If you change this and say that any vessel coming into port is going to have to refuel, you put him into a seller’s market rather than a buyer’s one. This has huge implications,” he said.

“There are also consequences if ships have to refuel much more often than they do today. We already have congested harbours that will become even more congested. Fuel stations will pile up because of this.

An alternative is LNG, a fuel that contains no sulphur and emits very low levels of CO2. However, its release of unburned methane has led to widespread debate around LNG as a long-term sustainable fuel suited to achieving the IMO’s 2050 target.

The release of methane, a greenhouse gas, is up to 30 times more than standard bunker and low-sulphur blends. But LNG is twice the volume compared to the same energy stored in the form of heavy fuel oil.

While alternative low-carbon fuels like hydrogen offer the potential to make shipping cleaner, emissions during their production before onboard use, should also be considered. “Today, 80 per cent of hydrogen production is from natural gas. It means there really is a lot of carbon emissions,” Mr Valland said.

“The overall emissions of fuels depends on how you produce it. At the moment there are no zero greenhouse gas fuels on a well to wake basis.”

LNG is produced in much higher quantity than what is currently used by shipping. In contrast, the production of methanol and hydrogen would need to increase to meet shipping’s energy needs.

Some 70,000 ships of the 90,000 in the global fleet could adopt alternative propulsion solutions such as batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen or methanol fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But the challenge, he says, is that the other 20,000 ships, 22.5 per cent of the 90,000, are the biggest emitters and are least suited to alternative fuels and propulsion systems, he said.

Shipping today consumes 250 million tons of fuel annually, with 75 per cent of fuel consumption from heavy fuel oil, 23 per cent being distillates and two per cent being liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other alternative fuels.

Lloyd’s List – Greece urges IMO to consider delaying sulphur cap

The 0.5% sulphur cap is just a month away from coming into force but the controversy surrounding it is far from over. Greece’s shipping minister has made a high-profile appeal to governments and the IMO to consider postponing the 2020 sulphur cap implementation. But the IMO is clear that a delay is not possible (subscription)

Ship and Bunker IMO2020: Managing the Risk of Commingling VLSFO Bunkers

The probability of two VLSFO fuels being incompatible remains low, but the consequences can be extreme, writes NSI’s Michael Donaldson-Badger. More


S&P Global Platts:

Monjasa ups credit facilities by $160 million in preparation for IMO 2020

At current crude oil prices the bunker industry may need as much as $4 billion more working capital to meet the higher fuel bills next year, Lina Molfetas, senior bunker trader at KPI Bridge Oil, said in October. (Subscription)

HSFO crack spreads at record lows as IMO 2020 looms

Global cracks for high sulfur fuel oil have weakened sharply over the past two months after a year of abnormal strength.


Lloyd’s List – Majority of German owners turn to low-sulphur fuel

With just over a month to go until the introduction of IMO 2020, German owners are still concerned about availability and costs of compliant fuels (subscription)


ShipInsight – CSSC Marine Service to tackle 2020 fuel pumping problems

CSSC Marine Service Co (CMS), the equipment service subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), is using its expanded network of service stations to deliver a retrofit solution to engine starting problems that may occur with less viscous low-sulphur fuels.

Some two-stroke engines using common-rail injection report problems reaching and maintaining high enough fuel rail pressure due to wear of fuel pumps, starting air problems or leaking injection control units. The concern is amplified when using fuels that are lighter and less viscous than heavy fuel oil, such as many of the very low sulphur fuel oil blends ship owners are likely to use to comply with IMO’s sulphur cap from 1 January 2020. Less viscous fuels require higher pumping pressure or engines can fail to start.

Fathom – Fuel quality on marine engines still a key 2020 issue

Parker Kittiwake regional account manager Scott Herring says his company has been urging owners to take catfine and fuel quality issues more seriously. notes that: “There are significant concerns around how these new fuels will affect marine engines, which is why testing for compatibility and cat fines, for example, is increasing.”

Maritime Executive – Survey: Most German Shipping Companies will use LSFO

The vast majority of ships in the German fleet will run on low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) from January 1, according to a survey undertaken by the German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR).

81 percent of the companies surveyed will be using LSFO with a sulfur content of 0.5 percent in the future. 11 per cent will continue to use heavy fuel oil (HFO) and scrubbers. Six percent of respondents indicated that they will be using other fuels, such as those prescribed for Emission Control Areas in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea – fuels with a sulfur content of 0.1 percent. More


Ship and Bunker – VLSFO Prices: One Size Does Not Fit All

Currently there are 3 significantly different VLSFO spec clusters being sold. More