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IMO sec-gen wants to bring forward the low sulphur review

IMO sec-gen wants to bring forward the low sulphur review
IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu wants to bring forward a study on availability of low sulphur fuel ahead of the planned 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020.

Under the current arrangement, established in 2008, today’s limit of 3.5% would be reduced to 0.5% from 1 January 2020. “It is important for IMO to act now to have a clear picture on the availability of the required quantity of the low-sulphur fuel as soon as possible,” said Sekimizu.

“Annex VI stipulates that the review must be completed by 2018, but there is nothing to say that it cannot be completed earlier. Indeed, there is a strong argument that early completion of the review of the availability of low sulphur fuel will give more time for all concerned, including the refinery industry, to take the necessary action and react in time to meet the requirements if such a need is identified.”

“Reaching agreement on the new sulphur limits in 2008 was a notable achievement,” added UK Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond, “and as a consequence enhanced the reputation of the IMO.  Now it is vital to agree the timing of this review.   

Uncertainty around dates is likely to delay crucial investment decisions and industry needs a clear steer.  All sectors of the shipping and petro-chemical industry would be better able to plan, control costs and manage the transition once we have a date for the review.”

The UK Chamber of Shipping also welcomed the bringing forward of the review. “The sooner it can start the sooner the shipping and refining industries will have the certainty required to plan investment for the future," said David Balston, Director of safety and environment for the UK Chamber of Shipping 

“Given the time required for refiners to build new plant to meet the expected demand then ideally the study should have started already, but 2015 is preferable to 2017.   

On Tuesday the International Bunker Industry Association announcement that there will be enough distillate fuel to meet demand in 2015.