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BIMCO: Roundtable meeting expects 77% drop in SOx emissions from ships

11 Mar 2020

International Shipping Association BIMCO on Monday (9 March) said  IMO 2020 is expected to produce a 77% drop in overall sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from ships, equivalent to an annual reduction of approximately 8.5 million metric tons of SOx.

Two months after the sulphur cap implementation, BIMCO, INTERCARGO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and INTERTANKO are all cautiously optimistic about the ability of shipowners to adapt to the new regulations, it said.

BIMCO commented the introduction of the new limits showed initial strong price differentials for various fuel options were observed, with in places cheaper marine gasoil compared to low-sulphur fuel oils. 

At the same time, uncertainty remained about the worldwide supply of compliant fuels and concern about the safety and compatibility of fuel options.

“We cannot forget that we are reliant on cooperation from across the entire supply chain. This includes fuel suppliers to standardise fuel blends, Flag States to report issues to the IMO as appropriate and for Coastal States to properly train their Port State Control (PSC) personnel,” said Dimitris Fafalios, Chairperson of INTERCARGO.

“Shipowners have been working tirelessly to comply with the challenging regulation, and we thank them for their commendable efforts.”

“We believe this major change was both timely and needed, however, this does not mean it is without inherent risks. We are determined to address the environmental impacts of shipping so that we can continue to drive global trade sustainably.”

BIMCO’s statement also cautions that despite announcements regarding how few Fuel Oil Non-Availability Reports (FONARs) had been issued by Flag States, this did not represent a true measure of the lack of worldwide VLSFO availability since it did not reflect situations where owners had to wait or divert to find fuel.  

It also failed to reflect the extreme efforts shipowners were making to plan and find compliant fuels at their intended trading ports.

BIMCO’s statement concludes that “Round Table” leaders have agreed on continued sharing of experience is paramount, and will be reported to IMO as appropriate.

It also urges Flag States to be encouraged to improve their reporting to IMO. 

The statement reminds the industry that while shipowners do their part to the best of their ability, all stakeholders should uphold their responsibilities including fuel suppliers, Flag and Port States, as well as charterers.

The four associations have also launched a survey to gain a greater understanding of fuel oil quality and possible safety implications and encourage shipowners and operators to participate.

Related: BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO launch IMO 2020 fuels survey

Photo credit and source: BIMCO

Published: 11 March, 2020

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