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Intercargo raises concerns ahead of sulphur cap

The magnitude of the sulphur
cap challenge lying ahead for the shipping industry and the need for a smooth
transition is raising concerns, according to International Association of Dry
Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo).

With January 1, 2020
implementation date of International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) sulphur cap
less than five and a half months away, the global availability of safe
compliant fuels remains a key question largely unanswered.

Intercargo expressed its
growing concern, saying that the requirement for the sulphur content of fuel
oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas not to
exceed 0.50% as of January 1 “marks a sea change in the marine fuels’ supply
“It is extremely worrying that
compliant fuels have so far been made available only in a limited number of
ports and under unfavourable terms for voluntary early testing by ships, as
charterers/operators are not currently obliged to purchase future compliant
Hence, the practical testing of
new fuels and crew training, which is only possible under real conditions
aboard ships, is very limited and pushed to the end of year – this situation
creates significant safety implications for the operation of ships, which could
eventually threaten the safety of seafarers, ships, and cargoes, as well as the
marine environment, Intercargo explained.
In anticipation of the new
fuels made available for practical testing aboard ships well before the end of
2019, the association urged that the fuel supply industry provides the market
with significant volumes of compliant fuels at many ports around the world, so
that all sectors can be serviced, including the dry bulk sector.

Intercargo also called on the
charterers/operators to start purchasing these fuels and for the Publicly
Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.50% limit to be made available
as soon as possible to provide guidance on the application of the existing ISO
8217 specification for marine fuels.
Finally, the association said
that the ship owners/operators need to enhance crew training as the industry
“will largely rely on their skills for managing the new compliant fuels aboard
ships on the high seas to ensure a smooth implementation of this drastic
World Maritime News.

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