• 2018 April 26 14:49

    IMO takes first step toward Arctic HFO ban, but first needs to define ‘HFO’

    The IMO has agreed to start work to develop a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) for combustion purposes by ships in Arctic waters, but first it needs to define what is meant by ‘HFO’ as it isn’t clear what type of fuel the ban might apply to, IBIA said in its press release. Fuel blends complying with the upcoming 0.50% sulphur limit may contain both distillate and HFO blend components, so it will be critical to have a clear definition.

    The decision was made at the 72nd session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72), following majority support for a ban under the agenda item on “Development of measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters” which was added to the organisation’s work programme at MEPC 71.

    A group of countries put forward a proposal to MEPC 72 to ban HFO use and carriage for use as fuel by all ships to which MARPOL applies when operating in Arctic waters no later than 2021, with a five-year delay in implementation for ships that have fuel tank protections in place. The ban would not apply to HFO carried as cargo.

    Such a ban was resisted by some countries which were ready to identify measures to reduce and mitigate the risk HFO fuel spills, but not a carriage ban. There was also discussion on the potential impact of such a ban on maritime trade, in particular on Arctic communities and economies. MEPC 72 agreed that this should be assessed before adopting a future ban.

    MEPC 72 agreed on the scope of work for the Sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), which meets for 6th session in February 2019. PPR 6 has been tasked to develop a definition of HFO; prepare a set of guidelines on mitigation measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters; and on the basis of an assessment of the impacts, develop a ban on HFO for use and carriage as fuel by ships in Arctic waters, on an appropriate timescale.

    What is ‘HFO’?
    It has been widely reported that the use and carriage of HFO is already banned in the Antarctic (including as cargo). This is not strictly speaking correct: the Antarctic ban in Regulation 43 of MARPOL Annex I applies to heavy grade oil (HGO), which is defined as follows:
    .1 crude oils having a density at 15°C higher than 900 kg/m3 ;
    .2 oils, other than crude oils, having a density at 15°C higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50°C higher than 180 mm2/s; or
    .3 bitumen, tar and their emulsions

    PPR 6 has been instructed to take Regulation 43 of MARPOL Annex I into account when developing a definition of HFO. The key would be .2 in Regulation 43 (above).

    For bunker fuels, the current HGO ban in the Antarctic would not apply to products with a density at 15°C below 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50°C below 180 cSt.

    This means all the grades meeting current ISO 8217 marine distillate (DM) specifications would be allowed for carriage and use in the Antarctic, while residual grades (RM) have a maximum density limit under ISO 8217 in excess of 900 kg/m3, which would not be allowed.

    However, a number of RM grades sold today are below 180 cSt and it is possible that, despite a density limit above 900 kg/m3 at 15°C, some of these fuels could in fact have densities below this threshold.

    With extensive blending of various components to meet the 0.50% sulphur limit in 2020, it is anticipated that many products will have viscosity below 180 cSt. Density may also be lower than we see for most RM grades today, though most fuels designated as RM grades would most likely have densities above the 900 kg/m3 at 15°C threshold.

    If the IMO agrees to use the current HGO definition for the Antarctic ban to define what constitutes ‘HFO’, density would become the key differentiator between fuels that can be used globally, including the Polar regions, and fuel that cannot be used or carried for use in the Arctic.




2019 January 20

16:08 Subsea 7 acquires multi-purpose offshore construction and dive support vessel
15:03 TEPCO and Ørsted sign MoU to work jointly on offshore wind projects
13:51 Major contract for JSS awarded to Montreal-based company
12:42 Huntington Ingalls Industries to acquire Fulcrum IT Services
10:47 Algoma provides update on status of fleet renewal

2019 January 19

16:19 Ocean Yield acquires Suezmax tanker Milos for $56.0 million
15:16 Evac expansion continues with acquisition of UK service company Transvac Systems
14:02 Deltamarin contracted to continue with Titanic II project
12:51 SGRE launches 10 MW offshore wind turbine
11:44 Algoma increases its interest in the ocean self-unloader Pool

2019 January 18

18:06 North Carolina Ports sets new record in 2018
17:47 Freight turnover of Neva-Metal (Saint-Petersburg) in 2018 climbed by 3% Y-o-Y to about 3.2 million tonnes
17:25 Okskaya Sudoverf obtains patent for state-of-the-art pontoons
17:06 Hamburg prepares for ‘Hard Brexit’
16:44 Throughput of port Primorsk in 2018 fell by 7% Y-o-Y to 53.48 million tonnes
16:23 GTT receives a new order from SHI to design the tanks of two LNG carriers on behalf of Gaslog
16:20 NOVATEK elects new Board of Directors
15:56 Throughput of port Vyborg in 2018 grew by 25% Y-o-Y to 1.93 million tonnes
15:33 Stena Line’s first new generation ferry ‘floats’ in China
15:21 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 2018 fell by 1.7% Y-o-Y to 49.8 million tonnes
15:03 Panama Direct service CMA CGM to resume weekly rotations
14:47 Throughput of port Vysotsk in 2018 climbed by 7% Y-o-Y to 18.79 million tonnes
14:33 GranIHC appointed contractor for Equinor’s Peregrino Phase II Project
14:19 Port of Ust-Luga handled 98.72 million tonnes in 2018, down 4% Y-o-Y
14:03 Algoma Central Corporation increases its interest in ocean self-unloader Pool
13:50 18 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 17-18
13:35 Throughput of the Port of St. Petersburg in 2018 up 11% Y-o-Y to 59.32 million tonnes
13:18 CMA CGM unites its Containerships and MacAndrews brands
13:11 Vladimir Putin supports Government’s proposal on expanding Far East Ministry’s functions with Arctic issues
12:49 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 2018 grew by 11% Y-o-Y to 49.276 million tonnes
12:26 MV Werften purchases Neptun Ship Design
12:08 Sakaide shipyard holds naming ceremony for new LNG carrier jointly owned by NYK and JERA
11:38 PGNiG SA signs agreement for oil and gas exploration and production in UAE
11:14 Remote pilotage to be allowed in Finland
10:47 Free zone status is a crucial advantage for the future development of the Freeport of Riga
10:06 Ice restrictions at the port of Ust-Luga come into effect on January 31
09:42 Brent Crude futures price up 0.9% to $61.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.09% to $52.64
09:20 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,077 points

2019 January 17

18:13 PORT OF KIEL presents annual results 2018
17:51 Ice restrictions at the port of Primorsk come into effect on January 25
17:28 Global Ports sets up a common service call centre
17:09 EFIP welcomes and supports the European Parliament position on the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027
17:05 North Sea Port monitoring the Brexit closely
16:44 ABP invests £700K to boost storage at Port of Ipswich
16:27 Global fuel market: still many uncertainties in both demand and supply
16:22 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
16:05 OCEAN Alliance extends duration of OCEAN Alliance to ten years
15:42 COSCO SHIPPING Ports signs agreement with PSA to add two new berths at the terminal in Boao, Hainan
15:31 Liebherr supports the 6th International Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
15:02 Ocean Yield ASA agrees to acquire a modern Suezmax tanker for a consideration of USD 56.0 mln
14:02 SEACOR Marine enters agreement to acquire three additional platform supply vessels from affiliates of COSCO Shipping Group
13:49 Throughput of Chinese ports grew by 4.2% to 9.22 billion tonnes in 2018
13:32 Jensen Maritime provides design for Shaver Transportation’s new tugboat
13:14 OOCL rolls out third phase of Ocean Alliance product refinements
12:50 Baltic Ports Organization’s schedule for 2019 is set
12:38 Port of Los Angeles breaks all-time cargo record in 2018
12:26 Qatar accedes to load lines convention
12:01 Sunseeker International and Rolls-Royce to present first production yacht with MTU hybrid power in 2020
11:51 Bunker prices continue going down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:38 Port of Zeebrugge handled 40.1 million tonnes in 2018