Early assessments of the price spread between 3.5% high sulphur bunker fuel and 0.5% low sulphur fuel are indicated at as low as $40 to a high of $104 per metric tonne (pmt), according to data drawn from Platts and Taiwan’s oil refiner CPC Corp. The lower end of the scale would call into question the decision by many owners to invest in scrubbers based on the expected fuel price spread.

Bunker One, the physical fuel supply arm of Bunker Holding Group, has expanded into Germany to service all ports at the German North Sea and Baltic Sea regions with bases in Rostock, Kiel and Hamburg.

Italian refiner Saras plans to build a new bunkering terminal at its plant on the island of Sardinia in a move to supply low sulphur marine fuel in view of the upcoming IMO 2020 regulation.

Norwegian paint manufacturer Jotun AS believes there is huge scope to raise hull and propeller operating efficiency by using shipboard data more effectively. According to Global Concept Director Stein Kjølberg, pictured, only about 15% of the world fleet is equipped with high-frequency performance monitoring equipment and only around 7-8% are using the data efficiently.

After several lean years prospects are looking good for the LNG sector again, Cyprus set out plans to grow a quality maritime sector, and the IMO agreed a ban on the carriage of heavy fuel oil come 2020.

Last week was a busy one in the world of maritime and shipping with the impact of regulations on business and operations continuing to dominate the agenda.

When it comes to the impact of the 2020 sulphur cap operational and regulatory issues have received a lot of attention, but there is also a commercial angle an North P&I is highlighting the possibilities of disputes and losses from charter party agreements.

There has been a sharp upturn in the number of owners opting to fit scrubbers to newbuildings when ordering at Korean shipyards.

Scorpio Bulkers says the jury is still out fitting scrubbers to mid-sized bulk carriers such as ultramaxes to meet the IMO’s 2020 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuel.