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2020 Sulphur Cuts: Availability of safe, compliant fuel still a concern

In view of the 0.5% global sulphur limit regulation
implementation on January 1, 2020, the global availability of safe compliant
fuels remains a key question that is largely still unanswered – especially for
ships in the dry bulk tramp trades, according to Intercargo.

 Intercargo’s Chairman, Dimitrios J. Fafalios, said that
the shipowners’ association would continue efforts to highlight critical
aspects of the 2020 sulphur limit regulation implementation. 

Areas of concern
include de-bunkering non-compliant fuel in those cases when fuel has been taken
in good faith as per BDN, only to learn that it is non-compliant after analysis
and the Port State Control response in those instances.
“As it would be unacceptable to have even one ship
drifting without power on the high seas as a result of the above, it was agreed
that Intercargo should continue to raise its concerns at the highest level with
the IMO Member States, the fuel supply industry (involving oil refineries,
bunker suppliers) and charterers, so that the practical challenges to be faced
before and after 1 January 2020 are duly addressed.”
Intercargo explained that the inability of the fuel
supply industry to provide sufficient quantities of representative compliant
fuels at an early enough stage for reliable testing on board creates
significant safety implications for the operation of ships.
“We have been doing everything in our power to be
ready, but we still face uncertainty. With vague fuel supply prospects and
standards, no real support from the machinery manufacturers and a lot of advice
and guidance offered only on paper, shipowners are left to cope with the
practical challenges on their own,” senior members of the association said.
In the short term, measures will need to respect each
shipping sector’s characteristics and be equitable, according to Intercargo. In
the longer term, adequate, safe, innovative technological solutions will be
needed, which are non-existent yet. 

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions largely
depend on the design and the technology of the constructed ships, their engines
and machinery, and the fuels used for propulsion.
“Therefore shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, and fuel
suppliers must be fully engaged in the successful implementation of IMO’s
vision for 2050.”
World Maritime News

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