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MSC issues statement on “MSC Joanna” violating fuel oil carriage ban in UAE

20 Mar 2020

International shipping line Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) on Thursday (19 March) published a statement in relation to the 16 March 2020 Circular from the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) in the United Arab Emirates where the MSC Joanna allegedly violated the fuel oil carriage ban.

MSC is discussing the matter with the FTA and would like to provide the following context to its customers and partners, it explained.

“MSC has a very large fleet of 520 container ships and is fully committed to implementing the UN IMO 2020 low-Sulphur regime. All vessels requiring compliant fuel were supplied in advance of the implementation date,” it said in the statement.

This includes the MSC Joanna, which MSC claims has used only compliant low-Sulphur fuel since IMO 2020 came into effect.

MSC also says it has made – and is still making – significant investments in the fleet with the installation of IMO-approved exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS).

“Scrubber” technologies clean the emissions from traditional marine fuel and are being used across the container shipping industry today. They even have the potential to produce lower Sulphur emissions than fuel with 0.5% Sulphur content, it notes.

Many of the shipyards where EGCS installation has been taking place are in areas affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and this has generated a large backlog of installations for shipowners.

In particular, Chinese shipyards were closed or partially closed for a significant period of time following the extended Lunar New Year holiday as the country grappled with the new coronavirus outbreak. 

This has impacted shipowners’ schedules for retrofitting ships, as has been widely documented in the media.

MSC Joanna is one of those ships which has been subject to an EGCS delay and the installation is currently scheduled for June 2020, addsMSC.

MSC also pointed out to customers and partners that its fleet, business and the vital transport and logistics services it provides to the world economy are continuing to operate despite the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the temporary global setback for shipowners around EGCS installation.

MSC states it has sufficient arrangements in place for compliant low-Sulphur fuel to maintain its commitment to IMO 2020 and it will implement orders for EGCS as part of a planned diversification strategy where appropriate in due course.

Photo credit: Marine Traffic/Aratino
Published: 20 March, 2020


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