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Hoegh Autoliners start ‘huge job’ as part of IMO 2020 preparations

06 May 2019

Noway-based pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTCs) vessel owner and operator Hoegh Autoliners which has chosen to consume, very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and low sulphur marine gas oil (LSMGO) for complying with IMO 2020, has started preparations for the 1 January 2020 deadline.

In the Bunker department, new bunker patterns are being planned for and in the commercial section, the new rules also require attention, it says.

“We fully support the new regulations as this will improve the environment and people’s health,” said Hakon Kiil, Head of Business Analytics who is leading Hoegh’s IMO 2020 implementation group.

“We have evaluated the alternative methods of IMO 2020 compliance, and decided to go for the new compliant fuel as the vast majority of the shipping companies.

“We have also started our preparations with tank cleaning as all tanks need to be compliant before 1 January 2020, and we expect to consume compliant fuel before the deadline.”

Hoegh, which operates a fleet of 55 vessels (whereof 40 are under Hoegh’s own operational management) estimates a substantial amount of bunker tanks will have to undergo preparations for receiving compliant fuel.

“For us in Hoegh, 40 vessels entails over 450 bunker tanks that must be cleaned according to IMO’s guidelines before end of 2019. This is a huge job”, explains Geir Frode Abelsen, Head of Technical Operations in Hoegh Autoliners, who is responsible for getting the fleet ready for IMO 2020.

“Each tank will be cleaned twice according to a set method, before we can be sure that there is no residual from Heavy Sulphur Fuel left in them. This work has already started on board our vessels.”

In addition to getting the vessels ready for the new fuel, the Bunker department will have to follow developments on where compliant fuel will be made available.

“There is still uncertainty connected to whether smaller bunker ports will have enough compliant fuel as we move in to 2020,” says John Nilsen, Bunker Purchasing Manager.

“This is something we expect the refineries to show the shipping industry a solution to, before the new regulations take effect.”

Moving forward, Hoegh confirms the company will be ready for IMO 2020.

“As we approach the end of 2019, we expect all commercial contracts to reflect the new compliant fuel,” concludes Kiil.

Photo credit: Hoegh Autoliners
Published: 7 May, 2019


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