As we are two months into 2020, IMO’s sulphur cap is being implemented worldwide and considering the radicality of the new regulation, its implementation has been smooth so far. However, that does not mean that there are no breaching cases, while the discussion regarding the best way to comply has heated up. What’s more, from March 1st, the regulation will enter the next phase, meaning that the industry has only few days to discharge fuel that has a sulphur content greater than 0.50% m/m.
2020 sulphur cap
The path towards 2020 sulphur cap remains challenging, especially for those operators that have invested in open loop scrubbers, after many ports have announced that they are restricting or completely banning ships from using fuel cleaning systems that pump waste water into the sea.
Compliance with 2020 sulphur cap is more than simply switching to a low sulphur fuel. HSFO, the fuel that was used so far but now will be inappropriate unless there are scrubbers installed, is primarily based on residual fuel and tends to adhere to the inside of fuel tanks. As such, a proper tank cleaning becomes necessary.
Shipowners are already ordering compliant fuels as, January 1st, 2020, the deadline for sulphur cap approaches bringing together a great need for major changes in the ways we source, handle and use energy. However, with less than a year left, industry experts and stakeholders still argue on the hard path towards decarbonization after 2020.
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