Following the official implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap, Standard Club received reports that certain ports in India have experienced lack of low-sulphur compliant fuel oil, which may halt ship operations on east coast of India.
Specifically, local news “The Hindu Business Line” reported that local companies are running out of compliant fuel, something which may affect operations in India, because on the non-availability of low-sulphur fuel oil, which ships are required to use.
Additionally, it is stated that virtually there is a lack of supply of low-sulphur fuel oil and all coastal ships, including the feeder container vessels plying between Indian ports on the east coast, will come to a standstill from this week as soon as they exhaust whatever little stock they have.
Consequently, the Government called a meeting with the shipowners, PSU oil refiners and the Director-General of Shipping to discuss the current situation and reach a solution. At the meeting, the Government advised ship operators to use diesel oil till the situation improved. But ship-owners say this is not workable
Up to now, the blame is allegedly up to oil refiners for starting production of low- sulphur fuel oil late. Bunker suppliers informed that east coast needs about 30,000 tonnes of low-sulphur fuel oil a month to meet the requirements of ships plying on local routes; On the other hand, the west coast is relatively better due to the availability of the fuel in Kandla and Kochi for most coastal ships.
Many opinions were expressed and was commented that “this prioritisation should have been done prior to start of sales.“