Availability of compliant fuels remains a concern: Intercargo

The global availability of safe compliant bunker fuels remains a key question largely unanswered with less than six months away from the IMO 2020 regulation, Intercargo said as it raises safety concerns.

Intercargo (International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners) has expressed a growing concern in view of the magnitude of the challenge lying ahead for the shipping industry and a need for a smooth transition.

“It is extremely worrying that compliant fuels have so far been made available only in a limited number of ports and under unfavourable terms for voluntary early testing by ships, as charterers/operators are not currently obliged to purchase future compliant fuel,” Intercargo stated.

“Hence the practical testing of new fuels and crew training, which is only possible under real conditions aboard ships, is very limited and pushed to the end of year – this situation creates significant safety implications for the operation of ships, which could eventually threaten the safety of seafarers, ships, and cargoes, as well as the marine environment,” it said.

From 1 January 2020, all ocean-going ships are required to burn bunker fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, down from the current 3.5%, under IMO’s Marpol Annex VI regulation.

Read more: Dry cargo owners must prepare for landmark changes in 2019: Intercargo

Intercargo, which represents about 25% of global dry bulk fleet basis deadweight, has urged the fuel supply industry to provide the market with “significant volumes” of compliant fuels at many ports around the world, and for charterers/operators to start purchasing these fuels.

The association also urged the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.5% limit to be made available as soon as possible to provide guidance on the application of the existing ISO 8217 specification for marine fuels.

It further called on shipowners and operators to enhance crew training, as the industry will largely rely on their skills for managing the new compliant fuels aboard ships to ensure a smooth operational implementation.

Posted 22 July 2019

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Seatrade ShipTech Middle East 2019

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Lee Hong Liang

Author Bio ▼

Asia Correspondent Lee Hong Liang has joined Seatrade as its Asia Correspondent. Based in Singapore, he will provide a significant boost to daily coverage of the Asian shipping markets, as well as bring with him an indepth, specialist knowledge of the bunkering markets. Throughout Hong Liang’s 14-year career as a maritime journalist, he has reported ‘live’ news from conferences, conducted one-on-one interviews with top officials, and the ability to write hard news and feature stories.

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