• 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 October 18

19:19 New port icebreaker named Ob delivered to FSUE Atomflot
18:54 Port Kolomna hosted ceremony of consecration for pusher tug named Sergey Kladko
18:31 RF Ministry of Transport to expand area banned for navigation near Crimea bridge
18:12 Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Clean Truck Program earns AAPA environmental award
17:57 NUTEP Container Terminal handled three millionth TEU since its operations started in 2004
17:38 Expert RA affirms its ‘ruA’ non-financial company credit rating on DeloPorts
17:13 Port of Virginia buys 25 new hybrid shuttle carriers
17:00 First grain shipment via Sabetta port expected in July 2020 – RF Ministry of Agriculture
16:46 Onezhsky Shipyard delivers buoy tender of Project 3265 named Ladozhsky
16:20 ERMA FIRST invests in METIS Cyberspace Technology
15:45 International organizations unite at IMO
15:14 "K" LINE, MOL, & NYK share data with ONE through the common data platform "IoS-OP"
14:49 Main engines loaded onto lead ship of PV22 project at Nevsky Shipyard
14:12 ESPO publishes European port sector’s Environmental Report 2019
13:53 Blagoveshchensk shipyard resumed construction of modernized seiners of Project 1338
13:32 Total launches its first LNG bunker vessel
13:12 SBM Offshore successful bidder for partner’s minority ownership in SBM Offshore operated FPSO companies
12:54 BIMCO submits proposals to IMO to enhance exchange and harmonization of data
12:31 MSC rules out Arctic exploration on environmental concerns
12:01 British Ports Association publishes new assessment of business environment ahead of annual conference in Belfast
11:30 Port of Antwerp volume up 1.1% in September 2019
11:05 DNV GL awards AiP certificates to HHI for three types of standard mid-sized FPSOs
10:37 RF Navy’s cruiser Marshal Ustinov completes business call to Cyprus
10:03 Hapag-Lloyd announces GRI from East Asia to East Coast South America
09:54 Bunker prices are flat at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:36 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,861 points
09:18 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.50% to $59.61, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.13% to $53.86
09:01 APM Terminals launches global customer alerts solution
08:42 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning, Oct 18
08:05 MOL introduces AR Navigation System at Maritime Conference in Dubai
07:52 The European shipping industry urges the EU to bolster maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea

2019 October 17

18:12 World's first emission-free push boat “Elektra” to have SCHOTTEL propulsion units
17:47 Five vessels call at the port of Brussels to show technological solutions to cut CO2 and air emissions
17:45 Nexans celebrates the next step in the construction of its Aurora cable installation vessel
17:43 Lotos shipyard delivers non-self-propelled cargo pontoon of Project GRPN
17:41 DFDS takes delivery of third Chinese-built RoRo
17:19 RroZero rolls out new 12m Site-Management boat for fish farming markets
16:14 North Sea Port offers online liner services
15:50 Ships detachment of RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet arrive on business call to Kingdom of Thailand
15:26 Maldives received maritime security training from IMO on the ISPS Code
15:02 Maritime policy for sustainable development was in focus of IMO national workshop in Chile
14:37 IMO workshop helps put maritime development in Africa’s mainstream
14:11 VT Halter Marine launches first US-flagged offshore LNG bunker ATB barge for Q-LNG
13:25 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
13:01 Port of Oakland container volume up 3.1 percent in September 2019
12:41 Thordon to supply propeller shaft bearings for MSC Cruises' third Seaside class cruise ship
12:08 Oboronlogistics launched new shipping line linking ports of Novorossiysk, Tartus, Alexandria and Samsun
11:39 NIBULON MAX made her first cargo trip
11:00 Port of Long Beach posts cargo volume of 707,000 TEUs in September 2019
10:44 Air quality measures make impact at Port of Southampton
10:23 ABP held its annual oil spill exercise on the Humber
10:02 LUKOIL BoD recommends interim dividend amount
09:40 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.67% to $59.02, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.84% to $52.91
09:21 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Oct 17
09:18 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,897 points
09:04 BOA awarded contracts to charter two vessels for the state’s emergency response preparedness
08:39 LLOG Exploration orders subsea trees for the Shenandoah Project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico

2019 October 16

18:37 Damen partners with TCS for increased vessel connectivity
18:07 AET christens two of the world's first LNG dual-fuel DPSTs to be chartered out to Norway's Equinor
17:35 PSA Marine signs frame agreement with Hydroniq Coolers