The IMO 2020 sulphur regulation mandates the limit for sulphur content in fuel oil used onboard vessels to change from 3.50% to a maximum of 0.50%, starting from 1st January 2020, unless ships have scrubbers installed.

The amount of different fuel grades and volatility in prices are likely to increase as a consequence.

Maersk Tankers uses its proprietary methodology Bunker Adjustment to distribute payments to pool partners based on the bunker consumption of their vessels compared to the pool average.

The Bunker Consumption methodology calculates how much fuel each pool ships consumes in relation to the pool average and enables Maersk Tankers as a pool manager to distribute payments to pool partners accordingly.

To maintain a fair distribution – both for scrubber-fitted vessels and vessels using compliant fuels, the pool partners have now unanimously agreed to change the Pool Agreement.

Key to this agreement was introducing an adjustment mechanism so that vessels are compensated appropriately for their relative fuel efficiency and costs.

The mechanism will be based on invoiced bunker fuel prices and quantities and the actual relative consumption of the vessels to achieve a distribution which reflects the fuel economics available from the market.

It was important for us to find a fair distribution system which reflects the market value of scrubbers and fuel cost savings while maintaining all types of vessels trading in the same pool,

...said Ulrich Schittek, Head of Partner Relations at Maersk Tankers.

It is expected that around 20 vessels across Maersk Tankers’ pools will be fitted with scrubbers in the near future.

As of June 2019, a total of 2,947 ships were equipped with scrubbers, which is expected to increase significantly in 2020, reaching 3,502.