The current excitement being seen around LNG as a marine fuel is not the first time it’s been heralded as the fuel of the future, but that this time it really appears to be gaining traction.

As the debate over future fuel choices rages on naval architect and marine engineering firm Foreship believes owners will turn back to high sulphur heavy fuel oil by 2030 with 30% of owners opting for scrubbers.

While a panel on the tanker and gas markets, as well as the container shipping session, at the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong almost unanimously agreed that scrubbers are not the solution to the emissions control issue, there was one contrarian view that they are needed for the industry to remain competitive.

Availability of low sulphur fuel was a major concern for many attending the Greener Shipping Summit 2017 - refiners are confident they will be able to meet the demand, but the changeover cannot occur overnight delegates were told.

Energy pricing agency S&P Global Platts has proposed to start publishing new daily assessments for marine fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% from January 2019.

The looming IMO regulation to restrict bunker fuel sulphur content to a maximum of 0.5% from 2020 may result in higher ocean transportation costs and profound changes in ship design, industry players have warned.

More than 10 main seaports located in China’s three Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) along the country’s sprawling eastern coastline have implemented the 0.5% fuel sulphur cap, as part of a national effort to curb harmful emissions from ships at berth.

Clean technology engineering firm Genoil has teamed up with two Russian institutions to design a low-cost desulphurisation project aimed at meeting the IMO 0.5% global sulphur cap regulation in 2020.

The use of low sulphur distillates will be the most widely adopted solution for shipowners come 2020 upon the implementation of the IMO Marpol Annex VI regulation, according to physical bunker fuel supplier Bomin Group.

Aegean NWE, marine fuels supplier in the Northwest European region of Aegean Marine Petroleum Group, has made available the supply of ultra-low sulphur fuel oil (ULSFO) in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam (ARA) port region including Zeebrugge.

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