Sulphur cap compliance could become a mess, warns ICS

THE International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has warned of 'chaos and confusion' unless the IMO urgently resolves some "serious" issues concerning the enforcement of the 0.5 per cent sulphur cap in bunker fuel in 2020. Speaking at the ICS's national shipowner associations' AGM held in Hong Kong, chairman Esben Poulsson said: "The shipping industry fully supports the IMO global sulphur cap and the positive environmental benefits it will bring and is ready to accept the significant increase in fuel costs that will result. "But unless a number of serious issues are satisfactorily addressed by governments within the next few months, the smooth flow of maritime trade could be dangerously impeded. It is still far from certain that sufficient quantities of compliant fuels will be available in every port worldwide by January 1 2020. "And in the absence of global standards for many of the new blended fuels that oil refiners have promised, there are some potentially serious safety issues due to the use of incompatible bunkers. "Governments, oil refiners and charterers of ships responsible for meeting the cost of bunkers all need to understand that ships will need to start purchasing compliant fuels several months in advance of January 1 2020. But at the moment no one knows what types of fuel will be available or at what price, specification or in what quantity. "Unless everyone gets to grips with this quickly, we could be faced with an unholy mess with ships and cargo being stuck in port," he stressed, reported London's Tanker Operator. ICS emphasised that governments will need to make significant progress on these issues at an IMO meeting in July regarding the looming global sulphur cap, to which ICS - in co-operation with other international industry associations - will be making a number of detailed technical submissions to assist successful implementation of what ICS describes as a regulatory game changer. In another warning, North P&I said that shipowners will have some very difficult decisions to make on how to comply with the January 1 2020 sulphur cap. There are five options available to a shipowner that allow compliance with the global cap: distillates, hybrid blends, scrubbers (EGCS), LNG and other emerging fuels There are pros and cons with each, mostly concerning fuel availability, on board fuel management, capex and opex and maintenance requirements. According to the mutual, it is not a simple choice and the decision on what method of compliance is best depends on vessel type, trading area and its expected remaining life. The proportion of time spent within emission control areas (ECA) should be considered, as well as the impact of changing fuels when entering/leaving these areas. The 0.1 per cent sulphur cap currently in operation within ECAs will remain in force and it is possible that new ECAs may emerge in coming years. In some cases, it would be disadvantageous to limit a vessel to one method of compliance. The best solution might be multi-fuel, such as the ability to burn both LNG and distillates, or perhaps EGCS and hydrogen fuel cells. The ICS's AGM also endorsed its support for the historic IMO agreement adopted in April on a comprehensive strategy to phase out international shipping's CO2 emissions completely. This includes targets to improve the sector's CO2 efficiency by at least 40 per cent by 2030 and 70 per cent by 2050.Member associations agreed that ICS should come forwards with detailed proposals before the next round of IMO discussions in October on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.However, ICS members expressed serious disappointment at the apparent intention of the European Union to press on with the implementation of a regional CO2 reporting system at variance to the global system already agreed by IMO. "We are still waiting to see the final recommendations from the European Commission following a recent consultation," said Mr Poulsson. "But the industry has made clear its total opposition to the publication of data about individual ships using abstract operational efficiency metrics that bear no relation to CO2 emissions in real life and which will be used to penalise shipowners unfairly."Anything less than a full alignment with the IMO CO2 data collection system will be seen as a sign of bad faith by many non-EU nations who recently agreed to the IMO GHG reduction strategy, precisely to discourage such unilateral measures which risk seriously distorting maritime trade and global shipping markets," he concluded.

Source: Schednet



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