Don’t mess with Chinese inspectors on the sulphur cap

China’s inspectors appear hard working and keen to showcase their efforts on clamping down on sulphur cap violations while few cases have been reported elsewhere. The Chinese inspectors are obviously very diligent and appear keen to showcase their efforts, as few infringements have been noted elsewhere.

One common feature in these found cases is a rather small excess sulphur content, ranging from 0.546% to 0.68%, suggesting none of the involved the vessels were using high-sulphur fuel oil at the time. Causes were said by officials to have been improper blending of the fuels or an incomplete switch to compliant fuels. The Xiamen Maritime Safety Administration offered the most detailed explanation in its case detected on January 3.

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1130692/Dont-mess-with-Chinese-inspectors-on-the-sulphur-cap  (Subscription)

IMO facing call to adopt HFO ban in Arctic

A delay on heavy fuel oil use in the Arctic Sea edges closer with widespread support. But a proposal for a five-year delay divides governments and NGOs. Russia also continues to have concerns about the large financial implications it believes the ban will have.


US will adapt ‘magic pipe’ recipe to new IMO rule violations

The draconian attitude of the US authorities is likely to take some ship operators by surprise. Whistleblowers are expected to play a very important role in the new cases. Many shipowners are said to be insufficiently aware of the expanded potential for criminal prosecutions in the US in cases of non-compliance with the new low-sulphur requirements.



Hapag-Lloyd follows Maersk: Increases bunker surcharge

Yet another of the world’s biggest container shipping companies now introduces an extraordinary bunker surcharge following recent weeks’ large price increases on low-sulfur fuels. This time it is German Hapag-Lloyd, ShippingWatch learns.


Poor low-sulfur bunker found in several key ports

Veritas Petroleum Service, which tests fuel, has issued seven warnings in just one month about excessive sediments in new fuels with 0.5 percent sulfur.

https://shippingwatch.com/secure/carriers/article11897167.ece (Subscription)


Two vessels caught in China for IMO 2020 violations

The Chinese authorities have caught two vessels for low sulphur fuel violations, the first reported cases of breaches of IMO 2020.

The Standard Club said that the first vessel was in Qingdao when it underwent a Port State Control (PSC) inspection by the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) and was found to be using fuel with a sulphur content of 0.6777% mm. The second vessel was in Xiamen and found by the MSA to be using non-compliant fuel having been at a berth for six days after changing to compliant fuel.



Navigating Sulphur 2020

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has praised the implementation of the 0.5 percent sulphur cap on marine fuel, claiming that, so far, the transition has been “relatively smooth”, although charter party disputes are expected to emerge soon.

After rising significantly at the beginning of the year – when the official implementation deadline of the sulphur cap came into force – prices for very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and marine gas oil (MGO) appear to be stabilising, said the IMO.

Further still, as of January 20, only ten cases of compliant fuel being unavailable had been reported in IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS); and the dedicated email address established by the IMO secretariat has not received any specific correspondence reporting issues with implementation.



BIMCO: Low-sulphur fuel sale jumps to a 70% share in Singapore, as the IMO 2020 sulphur cap kicks in

The final quarter of 2019 marked a massive decline of HSFO sales, as the industry transitioned into compliance of the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap (IMO2020). In Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, the bunker sale landscape saw significant change as the sale of high-sulphur fuel oil dropped tremendously in a matter of months. In contrast, the sale of low-sulphur fuels skyrocketed in the final quarter.

In Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, the bunker sale landscape saw significant change as the sale of high-sulphur fuel oil dropped tremendously in a matter of months. In contrast, the sale of low-sulphur fuels skyrocketed in the final quarter.



High black carbon emissions from VLSFO heaps pressure on IMO

Following on from a landmark study funded by the German Environment Agency that suggests some blends of the new very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) contain higher black carbon emissions than its forebear, high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is coming under pressure to ban the new fuel in Arctic waters.

“New hybrid fuels with 0.50% sulphur content used in the study contained a high proportion of aromatic compounds in a range of 70% to 95%, which resulted in increased [black carbon] emissions in a range of 10% to 85% compared to HFO,” the German study sent to the IMO claimed. The higher emissions were most noticeable when the engine was running at less than full capacity.

In the wake of the submission, which was supported by Finland, a number of NGOs are demanding the IMO takes swift action. The Clean Arctic Alliance has today called for the IMO to support an immediate switch to distillate fuels for ships in the Arctic and develop a global rule prohibiting fuels with high black carbon emissions.



Since Jan. 1, the global limit on the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil has been reduced to 0.5% from 3.5% under the so-called IMO 2020 regulation.

This is significantly reducing the amount of sulphur oxide emissions from ships and will have major health and environmental benefits, particularly for people living close to ports and coasts. According to the International Maritime Organization, it has been a relatively smooth transition to the 0.5% cap.



Ensuring your diesel engines are ready for IMO 2020

Vessel owners and operators need to develop a ‘bunker checklist’ and careful maintenance practices to ensure their diesel engines are ready for the changes required by the IMO 2020 sulphur cap.



GLOBAL: Clean Arctic Alliance calls for ban on ships burning ‘super pollutant’ VLSFO in the Arctic

As the debate over whether the switch to very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) will actually increase shipping’s emissions of ‘Black Carbon’ continues, the environmental lobby group Clean Arctic Alliance has today (27 January) called on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ‘support an immediate switch to distillate fuels for ships in the Arctic and develop a global rule prohibiting fuels with high Black Carbon emissions’.

Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, commented: ‘If immediate action isn’t taken by the International Maritime Organization, the shipping industry’s use of VLSFO – introduced to comply with the 2020 sulphur cap – will lead to a massive increase in Black Carbon emissions, and this will both accelerate the melting of Arctic sea ice and have a major impact on Earth’s climate.’



FEATURE: The Growing Problem of IMO 2020 VLSFO Bunkers With Marginally Off-Spec Sulfur

One of the main problems shipping has had with the new 0.50% sulfur bunker fuels so far this year has been arguments over the one characteristic of them that everyone’s supposed to agree about: their sulfur content. 0.50% does not always mean 0.50%.

Standard commercial terms taking the ISO 8217 specifications as their guide allow for a 95% confidence limit on the sulfur content – meaning in practice, any fuel tested after purchase by the buyer at up to 0.53% should still be commercially acceptable.