There is no doubt still confusion in the minds of so many people when it comes to the final stages of compliance with the 2020 cap. There are so many conflicting views: one says that scrubbers will be the most popular solution and then we hear other, such as the ones quoted in this article, saying that scrubbers may not be seen as the long-term solution. There have been comments from ship owners and managers that the cost of scrubbers – estimated at between $3-6 million depending on who you listen to – is prohibitive. To some this is not as hard to deal with as the thought of running out of compliant fuel because bunkering and refining will not be able to keep up with the demand. Which side of the argument you come down on depends on your operational involvement and budget.

Most people have their eyes on the start date of 2020 but we are saying – and have been for some time – that compliance and preparedness starts much earlier than that: the cleaning of tanks, the selection of compliant fuel, bunkers, operational programmes, all need to be completed, or at the very least under serious and short-term consideration by the middle of 2019.