Scorpio Bulkers, which along with sister company Scorpio Tankers, has taken a major bet on scrubbers to comply with the IMO’s 2020 low sulphur regulations is assuming a price spread of $250 per tonne between high and low sulphur fuel once the limit is in force.

The scale of the challenge facing ship operators as they prepare bunker tanks for new low-sulphur fuels ahead of the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap may have been underestimated, according to some marine fuel experts.

London-based Greek shipowners have urged the IMO to bring together oil companies, marine equipment makers and classification societies to guarantee fuels created to comply with 2020 environmental rules do not damage engines and cause accidents.

Fuel tester Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) is not expecting major problems with compliant 0.5% low sulphur fuel oil set to be used to meet the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap.

As the deadline for 2020 sulphur cap fast approaches compatibility and availability of compliant fuels are top concerns for shipowners and managers and ExxonMobil is keen to assure customers on both counts as it released details of its 2020 compliant fuels range this week.