The world’s third largest container line CMA CGM is continuing to hedge its bets on complying with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap with it reported to be opting for a mix of LNG propulsion and scrubbers on 10 newbuildings.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has secured $439m of Sinosure-backed financing to equip 86 scrubbers on its ships.

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.

A total of 10 countries are set to ban or restrict open-loop scrubbers in some or all of their ports, and more are likely to follow, according to P&I club Gard.

Bunker delivery note (BDN) amendments relating to supply of marine fuels to ships with alternative mechanisms to address sulphur emission requirements have entered into force on 1 January 2019, IMO said.

The small-scale LNG market is seen as growing market with a lot of potential but also currently stuck in a somewhat chicken and egg scenario.

Outgoing Intercargo chairman John Platsidakis took a number of swipes at regulators during his farewell speech at the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners’ agm in London this week.

Global LNG bunkering infrastructure is still needed for shipowners to make LNG-fuelled shipping viable on a large scale according to Nicolas Sartini, ceo of APL, part of the CMA CGM Group.

Nearly 20 shipowners have joined forces as the Clean Shipping Alliance (2020) to advocate for exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) and adherence to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) 0.5% global sulphur cap in 2020.

The global sulphur cap is starting to look like an opportunity for the shipping market to finally push through some reasonable freight rate increases, judging from the undercurrents at the Ince & Co business briefing on IMO regulation that kicks in on 1 January 2020.

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