The upcoming 2020 sulphur cap, although it comes with many environmental advantages, it also hide challenges; Shortages of sulphur cap-compliant fuels may appear at some ports in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia next year, as Reuters reports.
Despite the possibility of a fuel shortage, during a shipping industry conference panelist commented that the most major ports of the world will be prepared and have adequate supplies.
As the sulphur cap regulation mandates, the compliant fuels will have to be available at the start of the new year; Yet, shortages in some places force vessels to detour to ports with ample supplies, commented Maria Burns, a supply chain specialist.
She added that any diversions will be expensive for the shipowners and fuel sellers.
In addition, Sean Kline, a director at industry group Chamber of Shipping of America stated that because of compounding supply issues, global refiners haven’t been able to confirm the quality and compatibility of the shipping fuels they supply.
He commented that it is of a great importance to ensure fuel compatibility and quality, as under the condition that a ship gets a different fuel blend with different fuel components at the same port they will have to deal with it onboard.