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Consultancies to produce definitive study on impact of global sulphur regulation

Consultancies to produce definitive study on impact of global sulphur regulation
A definitive study to evaluate the impact of IMO’s Marpol Annex VI global fuel sulphur regulation will be produced by two consultancy firms in early 2017.

Marine Energy Consulting Ltd (MECL) and 20|20 Marine Energy announced that the study will include a detailed impact assessment of the regulation, as well as insights into compliance solutions, enabling recipients to make more informed decisions when developing strategies to both manage the transition, and the future.

The IMO regulation has mandated that ships need to burn bunker fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% from 2020 or 2025, subject to a review in 2018. Today, the fuel sulphur content limit is 3.5%.

That review in 2018, however, is expected to be made earlier at the forthcoming IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC 70) meeting this month.

The study, which will be available early in 2017, will benefit refiners that need to understand how the legislation will impact demand, fuel suppliers, port authorities and operators that require insight as to where to invest in infrastructure based on the demand for a range of products; as well as shipowners that need a broad knowledge of viable compliance solutions and the impact the change in legislation will have on their operations and profitability.

“The majority of people currently expect that the global sulphur cap will be implemented in 2020, which leaves just over three years to prepare in an increasingly complex market, fraught with questions and risk,” said Adrian Tolson, senior partner, 20|20 Marine Energy.

“This is coupled with a huge uncertainty in the shipping industry on how the regulation will impact supply, demand and availability, product compatibility and specifications, future pricing, global infrastructure, as well as the choice of compliance solutions available, and how they can be financed,” Tolson said.

Based on a CE Delft report, which the MEPC will supposedly take it seriously, it has recommended for a 2020 enforcement year instead of 2025. CE Delft is an independent research and consultancy organisation specialised in developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.

Robin Meech, managing director of MECL, asked: “Will there be enough distillates to meet demand? What will happen to residual fuel? How rapidly will the global LNG infrastructure be developed? How can scrubbers be financed? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered.”