Ship operators that decide on retrofitting scrubbers to comply with the global sulphur cap in 2020 may have difficulties in the supply of high sulphur fuel oil, according to Paul Hardy from Nautical Supply International.
Will the new regulations of IMO’s sulphur cap 2020 be an opportunity or a disaster? According to CEO of commodities trader Vitol there is no clear answer to that question. The majority of carries and other parties still have not decided what to do regarding how to comply with the regulations. What part will the use of scrubbers play and will they have a significant effect on the outcome?
A survey by ExxonMobil has found that many vessel operators are insecure in selecting the best route to comply with the 2020 0.5% global fuel sulphur limit set by the IMO. Results showed that 68% of the respondents believed the marine sector is not ready for the deadline.
The 2020 global 0.5% sulphur cap is drawing ever closer, yet the route to compliance remains unclear.
Recent findings from an ExxonMobil survey* revealed that 68% of respondents do not believe the marine industry is ready for the global sulphur cap.
Fuel mix make-up
When asked what the impact will be on the fuel mix, the outlook was uncertain. The industry expected the fuel mix to become more complex. 30% believe there will be a mix of Heavy Fuel Oils (HFO) and Marine Gas Oils (MGO) in use while 46% of respondents expect to see new low sulphur fuels developed. This will potentially lead to increased problems with fuel stability and compatibility. Operators should follow good practices in on-board fuel management to avoid costly maintenance.
The road to 2020
What’s clear in all this uncertainty is that operators need to consider the options available and work closely with trusted fuel and lubricant suppliers to make sure that come 2020 they can navigate the changes.
Although using scrubbers would be one solution for meeting the requirements of lower sulphur emission standards, at this point in time, only around 500 ships have installed scrubbers. “Fairly disappointing,” says director of scrubber producers’ association EGCSA.
On October 27 the International Maritime Organization announced a sharply lower sulfur cap on shipping fuel globally from 2020. But what are the implications for shipping lines, refineries and crude producers? Ned Molloy, managing editor for European fuel oil, reports.