As the shipping industry prepares for the arrival of the global sulphur cap in January 2020, the operation of ships in a multi-fuel future is a fast approaching reality.
Lubricants are essential to the smooth operation and service life of propulsion machinery, but their optimal use is highly dependent on fuel sulphur content. A diversified marine fuel mix demands tailoring lubricant selection to fuel sulphur content to ensure compatibility with fuels bunkered across a fleet.
“A key driver for launching Taro® Ultra is to ensure the product availability and the flexibility to meet the demands of the changing sulphur global landscape, recognising the need for more diverse fuel options we expect to be available both now and post-2020,” says Chia Yoo Soon, General Manager at Chevron Marine Lubricants. “This enables customers to make clear and concise choices that suit their unique operating requirements, ensuring the right products are available in the right places.”
The Taro® Ultra range of lubricants deliver the same high performance and protection expected from Chevron’s Taro® engine lubricants, with the added benefit of being compatible with almost all engines, marine bunker fuels and abatement technologies. The full range of Taro® Ultra products cover the needs of the vast majority of vessel owners, from Taro Ultra 25 — which is compatible with low sulphur fuel, distillates and many alternative fuels — to Taro Ultra 140 — which is ideal for applications using high sulphur bunker fuels that require scrubbers emission abatement technology. Specifically developed by Chevron Marine Lubricants to help ship owners and operators maintain efficient operations before and after the 2020 global sulphur cap implementation, Taro® Ultra products support the industry’s transition to fuel sulphur constricted operations from 2020.
In launching the Taro® Ultra range, Chevron Marine Lubricants is providing its customers with complete peace of mind for the supply of regulation-ready engine lubricants that are compatible with virtually all options for regulatory compliance. “We are performing a rigorous and extensive program of field testing with leading OEMs, demonstrating the strong performance of our lubricant offering. In addition to our trusted supply network, we are delivering the reassurance and supply security our customers need during the transition,” adds Luc Verbeeke, Senior Product Development Engineer at Chevron Marine Lubricants.
The new range of Taro® Ultra lubricants will be phased in throughout 2019.
Learn more about Chevron Marine Lubricants 2020 lubrication solutions here.
Many questions few answers
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“But with 18 months to go even if every single dry dock fills up with ships from now and starts fitting scrubbers non-stop until 2020, the net result is still going to be a very small proportion of the fleet.” James Forsdyke, Area Manager, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Lloyd’s Register.
Implementation of sulphur 2020 limit
The 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil on board ships (outside designated emission control areas or ECAs, where the limit is 0.10%) will come into effect on 1 January 2020.
The MEPC is expected to consider for approval, with a view to adoption at MEPC 73 (22-26 October 2018), draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil.
The exception would be for ships fitted with an approved “equivalent arrangement” to meet the sulphur limit – such as an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) or so-called “scrubber” – which are already permitted under regulation 4.1 of MARPOL Annex VI. These arrangements can be used with “heavy” high sulphur fuel oil as EGCS clean the emissions and therefore can be accepted as being at least as effective at meeting the required sulphur limit. For a ship without an approved equivalent arrangement, the effect of the draft amendment, which would enter into force on 1 March 2020, would be that the sulphur content of any fuel oil used or carried for use on board shall not exceed 0.50%.
IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) is currently developing guidelines to support the implementation of the 2020 sulphur limit. An intersessional working group will meet 9 to 13 July 2018.The MEPC will be asked to approve receiving draft guidelines on ship implementation planning for 2020 directly from the intersessional working group to MEPC 73 in October, in order to ensure appropriate guidelines can be considered by MEPC 73 and issued in good time.
Consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit for all ships will ensure a level playing field is maintained, with the result that the expected improvement of the environment and human health will be achieved. Sulphur oxides (SOx) are known to be harmful to human health, causing respiratory symptoms and lung disease. In the atmosphere, SOx can lead to acid rain, which can harm crops, forests and aquatic species, and contributes to the acidification of the oceans.
Fuel oil quality – best practice guidance
The MEPC will consider draft best practice guidance for fuel oil purchasers/users; and for fuel oil providers.
The best practices are intended to assist in assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered to, and used onboard ships, with respect to both compliance with the MARPOL requirements and the safe and efficient operation of the ship.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the latest organisation to recommend ship operators start buying their IMO 2020 compliant bunkers early.
“Shipping companies may need to start ordering compliant fuels from as early as the middle of 2019, and they are strongly recommended to commence developing implementation plans as soon as possible,” says ICS Secretary General, Guy Platte.
The advice among several recommendations raised by the shipping organisation as part its latest guidance: Compliance with the 2020 ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ for Ships’ Fuel Oil in Accordance with MARPOL Annex VI.
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The UK’s shipping sector is relatively relaxed about the coming rule change on bunker fuel, according to the head of the county’s Chamber of Shipping
“By and large, most companies have devised their own strategies for dealing with the introduction of the sulphur cap,” Bob Sanguinetti said in an interview with maritime news provider Lloyd’s List
However, if there is an outstanding area of concern, it is over enforcement.
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