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IMO 2020

IBIA: Discussions continue on 2020 non-availability scenarios

Questions also need to be answered regarding unintentional and involuntary non-compliance with sulphur limits, says IBIA.




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The below is a press release from the International Bunker Industry Association:

Agreeing on the details could be challenging as IMO works on dealing with potential non-availability situations when the marine fuel sulphur limit falls to 0.50%. Apart from dealing with non-availability cases, questions also need to be answered regarding unintentional and involuntary non-compliance with sulphur limits.

The IMO has already agreed on the need for developing a draft standard format for reporting non-availability for when a ship is unable to obtain compliant fuel. Regulation 18.2 in MARPOL Annex VI says a ship should not be forced to deviate or unduly delay its voyage if, despite reasonable efforts, it cannot bunker compliant fuel. What is needed is something similar to the standard Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) developed by the US for ships that are unable to source ECA-compliant fuel prior to arrival in a US port.

The 5th session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5) heard two proposals for a standard format, like a FONAR. There was not enough time to thrash out the details at PPR 5, but discussions highlighted the various concerns that need to be taken into account.

On the one hand, there are concerns that a FONAR system can be abused, so it is important to investigate non-availability reports. In that regard, it was reiterated that a FONAR is not a “get out of jail free” card. The ship is still non-compliant, but by declaring it the ship is expected to be treated more leniently by enforcement officers, who may choose to take no action.

Another concern would be that ships might be tempted to deliberately visit ports where non-availability is known to be frequent to get cheaper fuel under the guise of a FONAR. Perhaps they read IBIA’s comment on the subject after MEPC 70 about the “joker in the pack”. 

It was suggested that non-availability should be reported to an easy-to-access database to keep track of the situation. In fact, IBIA already proposed this at PPR 4 last year, noting, in PPR 4/20/6: “One way to assess the extent to which implementation of the global cap is effective could be to monitor and analyse fuel oil non-availability reports received by the IMO. Parties to MARPOL Annex VI are required, under regulation 18.2.5 of MARPOL Annex VI, to notify the IMO when a ship has presented evidence of the non-availability of compliant fuel oil.”

While there was concern about potential abuse of the non-availability clause at PPR 5, there was an equal emphasis on being sympathetic to innocent non-compliance. This can be caused by the scenario where a ship needs fuel but no compliant product is available in the port at the time, but there are other less obvious situations to contemplate.

Unintentional and involuntary sulphur limit exceedances, for example, can be caused by the ship receiving bunkers that complies with the sulphur limit according to the supplier’s documentation on the bunker delivery note (BDN), but which later proves to be non-compliant. If not just the use, but also the carriage of bunkers exceeding 0.50% sulphur is illegal, how will that be viewed? Should this be covered by a FONAR?

Will there be a difference in how marginal sulphur exceedances are seen? IBIA pointed out during PPR 5 discussions that marginal sulphur exceedances could occur as a result of a non-availability situation. If a ship has cleaned out its fuel system but subsequently has to take on a higher sulphur fuel oil due to a non-availability situation, this could result in marginal sulphur non-compliance as subsequent compliant fuel could easily be contaminated by the higher sulphur fuel residues in the tank and fuel system. Should this be covered by a FONAR?

IBIA believes it is important to differentiate between intentional and un-intentional non-compliance. If the ship operator is exercising due diligence to comply, but is caught out by circumstances outside its control, IMO guidelines should help identify those circumstances and encourage enforcement agencies to take this into account when deciding how to deal with sulphur limit non-compliance.

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Published: 27 February, 2018

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LNG Bunkering

Titan completes successful LNG bunkering op of E&S Tankers ship in Antwerp

Bunker barge “FlexFueler001” delivered 110 mt of LNG bunker fuel to chemical tanker “Liselotte Esberger”, marking a milestone since it was the first time Titan delivered to a vessel of E&S Tankers.





Titan completes successful LNG bunkering op of E&S Tankers ship in Antwerp

LNG bunker fuel supplier Titan on Monday (19 February) said it executed a successful LNG bunkering operation for E&S Tankers, a joint venture of Essberger Tankers and Stolt Tankers as an operator of chemical tankers within Europe. 

The refuelling operation took place at the port of Antwerp on 15 January. 

“Our vessel, FlexFueler001, flawlessly delivered 110 mt of LNG to the Liselotte Esberger, marking a milestone since it is the first time we deliver to a vessel of E&S Tankers,” it said in a social media post. 

“This operation underscores our dedication to sustainable shipping practices and showcases our commitment to environmentally friendly solutions. We're proud to collaborate with E&S Tankers and look forward to furthering our shared mission.”

Titan completes successful LNG bunkering op of E&S Tankers ship in Antwerp

According to E&S Tankers website, the 7,135 dwt Liselotte Essberger arrived in Hamburg from a shipyard in China on 5 December 2023 and was christened the following day.  

The vessel is first of a total of four newbuildings ordered by the firm that are equipped with LNG dual-fuel engines.

Related: E&S Tankers launches second LNG dual fuel chemical tanker “John T. Essberger”


Photo credit: Titan and E&S Tankers
Published: 20 February, 2024

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Shipping Corridor

Report: Korea-US-Japan green shipping corridors can lead to significant environmental impact

Creating green shipping corridors between South Korea, the United States and Japan’s top two busiest routes can reduce up to 41.3 million tCO2 each year, says Korean NPO Solutions for Our Climate.





Report: Korea-US-Japan green shipping corridors can lead to significant environmental impact

Korea-based non-profit organisation Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) on Tuesday (13 February) said creating green shipping corridors between South Korea, the United States and Japan's top two busiest routes – Busan-Tokyo and Yokohama; Busan-Los Angeles and Long Beach– can reduce up to 41.3 million tCO2 each year. 

This is equivalent to annual emissions from over 9 million passenger vehicles in the United States.

“We evaluated the anticipated impact of several proposed KoreaUnited States-Japan green shipping corridors involving ports of Busan (KRPUS), Incheon (KRINC), and Gwangyang (KRKAN) —South Korea’s three major container ports,” SFOC said in the report. 

Each of the three South Korean ports will have the most significant environmental impact if connected to ports of Tokyo (JPTYO)/Yokohama (JPYOK) in Japan and ports of Los Angeles (USLAX)/Long Beach (USLGB) in the United States. 

“If container ships that travel KRPUS – JPTYO/ JPYOK and KRPUS – USLAX/USLGB are converted to zero emission ships, we can expect significant reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions, approximately 20.7 million tCO2 and 20.6 million tCO2, respectively,” it added. 

Accordingly, reducing GHG emissions in the global maritime shipping will require coordinated multilateral commitments and actions.

The green shipping corridor initiative is a global effort to align the shipping industry with the 1.5°C trajectory. It aims to:

  • Create maritime routes in which mainly zero-emission ships travel
  • Run ports with 100 percent renewable energy
  • Enforce mandatory use of on-shore power for docked vessels.

“With increasing global shipping emissions, green corridors are key to decarbonising the sector,” SFOC said. 

“Our latest report on green corridors comes on the heels of South Korea and the United States' announcement to work together to implement cross-country green shipping corridors between several of their key ports.”


Photo credit: Solutions for Our Climate
Published: 14 February, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Ports of Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes to develop European green fuels supply chain corridor

Ports will also potentially work together on market development in this new market and jointly find final off-takers for supplies from Ireland including maritime fuels sector.





Ports of Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes to develop European green fuels supply chain corridor

Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, on Tuesday (30 January) said it has signed an agreement with Ireland’s largest bulk port Shannon Foyne with a view to developing a supply-chain corridor for exporting green fuels into Europe produced from the west of Ireland’s limitless wind resource.

The agreement will focus on market and trade development for vast volumes of green hydrogen and its derivatives produced at the planned international green energy hub on the Shannon Estuary. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the ports identifies significant and identified scale-up volumes of green hydrogen commencing with proof-of-concept volumes by 2030.

Europe’s overall green hydrogen strategy for 2030 is to import 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030 for use in heavy industry and transport sectors that are traditionally reliant on coal, natural gas, and oil. The Port of Rotterdam intends to facilitate volumes of 40 million tonnes from across the world by 2050, a significant proportion of which can come from the Atlantic resource.

Further opportunities will also be explored under the MOU, including building coalitions with interested and suitable commercial parties and adding other parties to the MOU to help achieve a joint supply chain process for delivering the first proof-of-concept volumes before 2030.

The MOU also provides for engaging relevant public stakeholders to support the initiative and sharing of information regarding the potential supply of green hydrogen and green hydrogen derivatives, such as green ammonia, green methanol, etc, as well as sharing best practice information on areas such as desalination, high voltage electricity, industrial clustering around the H2 molecule and green ship bunkering processes.

The two ports will also potentially work together on market development in this new market and jointly finding final off-takers for supplies from Ireland. These would include maritime fuels sector, sustainable aviation fuels, green fertiliser and facilities with direct green hydrogen fuel requirements such as the steel industry.

René van der Plas, Director International at the Port of Rotterdam, said: “The port of Rotterdam is already Europe’s leading energy hub and recognises the significance and opportunity for all European citizens and industries arising from the green transition. To that end, hydrogen is one of our priorities and we are working hard towards establishing infrastructure, facilities and partnerships that will help deliver on this.

“This agreement with Shannon Foynes Port is one such partnership and can support our efforts to set up supply chain corridors for the import of green hydrogen into north-west Europe from countries elsewhere with high potential for green and low carbon hydrogen production. Shannon Foynes Port is an ideal partner in that respect.”

Patrick Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company, said: “With the largest wind resource in Europe off our west coast, we have the opportunity to become Europe’s leading renewable energy generation hub. That will deliver transformational change for Ireland in terms of energy independence and an unprecedented economic gain in the process. In delivering on this, too, we can make our biggest ever contribution to the European project as we become a very significant contributor to REPowerEU, Europe’s plan to end reliance on fossil fuels.

“We can produce an infinite supply of renewable energy here and there are already a number of routes to market emerging for that energy. One such route to market is the development of a supply chain into Europe.”

“This agreement with the Port of Rotterdam is a key step towards enabling that. The port of Rotterdam already works on introducing the fuels and feedstocks of the future with major oil and gas companies and its broader port community of over 3,000 commercial companies. It can be a key supply chain corridor for exporting green fuels from the Shannon Estuary into Europe. This is very significant recognition and validation of the potential for hydrogen production generated in Ireland to be exported into Europe.”


Photo credit: Port of Rotterdam
Published: 31 January, 2024

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