As IMO 2020 deadline nears, shipping sector makes final push to adapt

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC 2019), Insight presents a series of articles exploring aspects of the global trade in crude oil and refined productsI. Here, Surabhi Sahu focuses on the shipping sector’s final push to prepare for the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 deadline imposing lower sulfur limits for fuel. Benjamin Franklin once said: “You may delay, but time will not.” This is certainly true for the international shipping industry as it prepares for a plethora of stricter environmental rules that are set to bring escalating costs and operational challenges. Among the upcoming rules, the International Maritime Organization’s global sulfur limit for marine fuels, which will be cut to 0.5% from January 1, 2020, is among the most significant. While restrictions on sulfur emissions in shipping are not an entirely new concept, as emissions control areas in certain regions have long existed, the transition to the IMO 2020 rule is daunting. The majority of bunker demand will have to switch from high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) to 0.5% sulfur almost overnight, calling for extensive planning by shipowners, charterers, ship crew and refiners, among others. The operational challenges will be manifold, and the costs astronomical. S&P Global… continue reading

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