The global availability of safe compliant bunker fuels remains a key question largely unanswered with less than six months away from the IMO 2020 regulation, Intercargo said as it raises safety concerns.

Safe Bulkers has completed the installation of its first scrubber on a post-panamax vessel, following up on its previously announced plan to retrofit scrubbers on close to half of its fleet of 41 bulk carriers.

Japan has updated that the country’s first trial of using IMO-compliant bunker fuel on coastal vessels has been successfully conducted, ahead of the next step of low-sulphur bunkering for ocean-going ships.

Israel’s Oil Refineries Ltd (ORL) has supplied its first cargo of IMO 2020 compliant bunker fuel with sulphur content capped at 0.5%, reports said.

Oil major Chevron has revealed that it will offer the IMO 2020-compliant 0.5% sulphur bunker fuel by the end of the third quarter, reports said.

Shipowners opting to use scrubber technology starting 2020 should be prepared to face mandatory scrubber washwater monitoring, according to water quality monitoring technology firm Rivertrace.

The business case for retrofitting scrubbers will eventually “disappear” as the price spread between high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) and low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) will keep on narrowing, according to Drewry Maritime Research.

As much as 16% of the global containership fleet by vessel count and 35.7% in terms of capacity have been equipped with scrubbers as at end-May, seven months ahead of the implementation of the IMO 2020 regulation, according to Alphaliner data.

France’s Total is readying to make 0.5% sulphur content fuels available at major bunkering ports from the fourth quarter of this year ahead of the IMO 2020 regulation, and the state oil firm is projecting a gradual global uptake of LNG as a marine fuel.

UAE-based Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Co (BPGIC) has unveiled a plan to build a 250,000-barrels per day (bpd) capacity refinery to produce IMO 2020-compliant bunker fuel in Fujairah.

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