A welcome sense of optimism on the future of shipping infused the opening day of the 15th biennial Maritime Cyprus conference taking place in Limassol this week, a line-up of heavyweight speakers, record attendance of over 850 delegates and the first of the week’s procession of evening receptions all adding to the positive vibe.

Following a relatively small oil spill off Athens 10 September, that authorities have been accused of handling poorly, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Shipping and Island Policy minister, Panagiotis Kouroumplis, have pledged a shake-up of the Hellenic Coast Guard, the way ship’s seaworthiness certificates are issued, and a review age limits.

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.

Challenges facing Greece and Piraeus, the home of Greek shipping, have become more evident at a time when global maritime clusters around the world are actively working to attract Greek shipowners.

As shipping moves towards innovations such as autonomous vessels the US Coast Guard (USCG) warns that the industry needs to take cyber security seriously to avoid regulation.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has revoked the bunker craft operator licence of Panoil Petroleum, effective 14 August 2017, following issues with the piping fixtures of five of the company’s bunker tankers that were equipped with mass flow meters (MFMs).

A survey of owners and operators that have fitted ballast water management systems (BWMS) by classification society ABS found that some 43% were considered “inoperable” or “problematic”.

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