We reported this piece from Shipping Watch on our LinkedIn and Twitter posts because it seems to signify yet another issue that is going to have an impact on the forthcoming IMO global sulphur cap. The spectre of engine damage has been one of the slow-burners in this debate: will the new low sulphur fuel blends be dangerous for an engine; will non-compliance be inevitable in the first few months and what can I do to resolve these issues? This is what Shipping Watch published and it sounds a warning in the run up to 2020:

Engine damages represent the most frequent cause of losses in marine insurance, and the number of damage claims will likely increase in light of new sulfur regulations, warns the International Union of Marine Insurance.

After all, is this issue not just about being cost-effective? No. It’s that and more importantly for the environment it is about taking a real stand and working for a solution that keeps the shipping industry a credible and respected business beacon. The real work starts here: the initial decision about to have scrubbers or take the fuel treatment route; the decisions affecting the type of low sulphur fuel and the costs associated with them all. We are continuing our drive to get more information about where and when the new fuel will be available. But we are also cognisant of the need to have preparations for the introduction of the new fuel in hand so as to negate any issues that preparation can resolve.

There are likely to be initial problems but we have been working with marine engine manufacturers and users for decades and as in every part of industry, being prepared is about knowledge and a willingness to do something. We will keep you posted on the ongoing bunkering issues.