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Intercargo: Compliant fuel avails in 2020 ‘especially of concern’

08 Mar 2018

The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo) has voiced concerns on the implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuel from 2020.

The organisation says it is promoting the consideration of transitional issues such as the availability and safety aspects of compliant fuels, and incidents of non-availability of low sulphur bunkers at certain ports.

It also encourages the effective implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 2020 sulphur cap regulation, yet with a pragmatic approach.

According to Intercargo, shipowners currently face technical and operational challenges in achieving compliance from 01 Jan 2020 due to the current marine fuel supply landscape and widespread uncertainty.

“The availability of compliant fuels and their safe consumption are especially of concern,” it explains.

“A drastic step-change is expected in 2020 and if a smooth transition is not ensured, the impact will be great. There will be an impact on trade, on economic growth and on the societies of both developed and developing countries worldwide.”

Dr Kostas G. Gkonis, Secretary General at Intercargo, says regulations are welcomed but these should be practically applied.

“It is said that the bulk ship is the workhorse of international trade. We should make sure we do not slay the horse though,” he notes.

“Regulation is welcome but should also be measured and wise. We see regulations being adopted whose implementation cannot be effective.

“Two examples are ballast water management, with experience building this year, and the bunkers’ sulphur cap, where important decisions are also to be taken this year.

“In both cases we have set a deadline without having yet the technologies in the first case or the fuel in the second case to meet the regulatory requirements.”

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Published: 8 March, 2018

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