• 2019 June 29 14:19

    IMO hosts roundtable industry meeting ahead of 'sulphur 2020' rule coming into force

    New requirements for ships to cut sulphur oxide emissions enter into effect on 1 January 2020, marking a sea change in fuel used by ships, globally, which will significantly reduce air pollution from ships with positive benefits for human health and the environment, IMO said in a press release.

    IMO has been preparing ahead of the implementation date. From 1 January 2020, under IMO's MARPOL convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, the sulphur content of fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas shall not exceed 0.50% - representing an 80% cut from the current 3.50% limit.    

    At a roundtable industry meeting hosted by IMO at its London Headquarters (21 June), participants were updated on the latest guidance, treaty amendments and other instruments emanating from IMO to support the implementation of the "sulphur 2020" rule. All of these have been developed by Member States working through IMO, in collaboration with stakeholders, recognising the need for cooperation in order to develop and deliver technically robust instruments for international shipping.

    The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-Kitack Lim and was attended by representatives from IMO Secretariat and: International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); BIMCO; Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF); International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO); International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO); IPIECA; The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST); International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA).

    Industry participants from the shipping, oil refinery and bunker industries welcomed with appreciation the effort made by IMO to address concerns and reviewed progress towards implementation.

    The IMO Secretariat highlighted the latest decisions emanating from IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74), including adoption of guidelines on consistent implementation, port State control and other guidance; and from the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101), including the adoption of Recommended interim measures to enhance the safety of ships relating to the use of oil fuel.

    Industry participants reported on their work, including the latest version of the ICS Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 'Global Sulphur Cap' which will be published in the first week of July 2019; a Joint Industry Project developing industry guidelines with a focus on safety to support implementation, including training; updated charter clauses developed to address sulphur 2020 and fuel issues; investment by the oil refining industry in new blends of fuel oil to meet the limit; and potentially linking sulphur 2020 provisions with current ship inspection programmes.

    Participants recalled that 1 January 2020 is now less than six months away and expressed their commitment to enhancing collaboration, including further information sharing among stakeholders, as appropriate, to make a smooth transition to the 0.50% limit, recognizing the benefits for human health and the environment.

    Availability of compliant fuel oil

    Views were exchanged on the general availability of fuel to meet the 0.50% limit, with ships expected to begin taking on 0.50% low sulphur blended fuels from October/November onwards, in order to be ready for 1 January 2020. A forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA), in April 2019 forecasts that the refineries will have capacity to make the compliant fuel oil available. Compliant fuel oil has already been made available for testing by some ships.

    The roundtable participants urged the need for the oil refinery and bunker industry to continue, and strengthen where possible, their efforts to provide sufficient compliant fuels as early as possible to allow more ships to test trial for experience gaining. There was also a need for more information on the new fuel products to be made widely available.

    Fuel oil safety

    Potential safety issues with new blends of fuel oil have been recognised and IMO guidelines provide advice on steps to take to address those risks.  

    It was noted that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been developing a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.50% limit. The PAS will provide additional guidance on the application of the existing ISO 8217 specification for fuels for use in marine diesel engines and boilers, for example, compatibility and stability of new blends of fuel oil.

    The roundtable participants highlighted the need to provide further information on arising safety issues and to enhance crew training in anticipation of the new fuels being made available before the end of 2019, and to highlight the safety aspects in particular.

    Enforcement and compliance

    Consistent enforcement by port State control was recognised as essential to ensure a level playing field and ensure the shipping market would not become distorted. Participants acknowledged the adoption of relevant 2019 Guidelines for port State control under MARPOL Annex VI chapter 3. The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III 6) meets 1-5 July and could provide an opportunity for information sharing by port State control regimes.

    Reporting to IMO and information sharing

    Participants recognized the need to further improve reporting and information sharing through the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information system (GISIS). MARPOL Annex VI requires information to be provided, including on fuel oil availability, incidents of non-availability of compliant fuel oil and fuel oil quality. Work is already under way to review the current MARPOL Annex VI module to provide greater scope for data entry and to make the module more user friendly.

    Raising awareness

    Participants agreed on the need to continue to raise awareness about sulphur 2020.

    An open source free to access e-learning course is being developed through the joint industry project, for use by seafarers and others. The course will offer three modules, the first will focus on IMO Guidance on the development of a ship implementation plan for the consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI (MEPC.1/Circ.878).

    A new IMO leaflet (download here) outlines the requirement, answers the most frequently asked questions about the rule and provides a list of the instruments supporting implementation, best practice guidance, port State control and sampling guidelines and others.

    IMO will publish a compilation of all related guidance, best practices and so on, as a single IMO publication (hard copy and electronic formats) later this year.  

    IMO conference on 2020 and alternative fuels

    IMO plans to hold a conference in October 2019 with wide participation from stakeholders, to provide updates on planning for 2020. The conference will also include a session on the latest developments regarding alternative fuels and low carbon technologies.

    IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.




2019 September 21

14:06 Boskalis associate Smit Lamnalco signs first 10-year terminal services contract in Mozambique
12:52 Kongsberg wins first full-scope expedition cruise vessel tender, with gensets and propulsion equipment
11:34 Rauma Shipyard bags Finnish Navy's four corvettes order

2019 September 20

18:41 Vostochny Port joins Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation as its permanent member
18:22 IAA PortNews offers photo release from 'Development of Icebreaking and Support Fleet' conference held on NEVA 2019 zero-day
18:05 Global Ship Lease announces new five-year $268 mln credit facility for debt refinancing
17:24 Vostochny Port’s harbour services fleet presented at dedicated conference in Saint-Petersburg
17:05 F. A. Vinnen places entire fleet with Verifavia Shipping & Rina for IHM services
16:50 Helsinki Shipyard (Finland) to build two liners for polar cruises
16:35 COSCO SHIPPING Ports announces disposal of interest in various port assets and possible disposal of Taicang Terminal and Jiangsu Petrochemical Terminal
16:21 ABB presents electric power and propulsion solutions for icebreaking vessels at NEVA 2019
16:05 Port of Los Angeles protects overall clean air gains
15:19 Port of Riga rapidly increases volume of handled wood pellets
14:53 South Korean port to slash passenger vessel emissions with ABB shore power
14:15 Krasnoye Sormovo launches Pola Pelagia, dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59З, for Pola Rise
13:30 Damen Shipyards Group is ready to ensure construction of electric water buses for rivers and canals of Saint-Petersburg and Russia
13:12 MSC Cruises and Fincantieri unveil further details of MSC Seashore at coin ceremony
12:24 Victor Olersky sees promising future of electric river passenger ships in Saint-Petersburg and in Russia
12:09 Algoma Central Corporation announces agreement to acquire Croatian-built vessel
11:28 Specifications for 0.50% sulphur fuels and the PAS from ISO: IBIA explains
11:09 GTT obtains Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas for the Mark III Flex technology on ice-breaking LNG carriers
10:52 IBIA and S&P Global Platts collaborate to help shipping industry comply with IMO 2020
10:31 Workshop for training on emergency response, preparation and planning held in Manila
10:09 Van Oord and Shell test the use of biofuel on trailing suction hopper dredger HAM 316
09:50 State Duma ratifies Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea
09:33 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.20% to $63.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.98% to $58.7
09:25 Lloyd’s Register, China Merchants, GTT, CNOOC, DSIC form jv to design LNG-fuelled VLCC
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is down to 2,192 points
08:58 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning, Sept 20

2019 September 19

18:04 Bibby Marine Services takes the next step to optimize walk-to-work operations
17:56 Marinet approves Poseidon maritime cyber security project
17:37 American Ethane reveals plans to order 17 VLECs
17:34 Wärtsilä’s Board of Directors decided on the distribution of the second dividend instalment
17:22 Marinet approves T2OT project for high accuracy positioning of seagoing vessels
17:04 VARD secures advanced stern trawler contract with Luntos
16:50 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 14,328 in RF spot market
16:34 Zeebrugge port authority invests in new 1,071 meter quay wall
16:04 RINA to classify Swedish Maritime Administration fleet
15:53 Marinet set to establish exports support center in Finland in 2020
15:34 MacGregor secures orders worth more than EUR 20 million for projects in Europe and Asia
15:05 Wärtsilä foresees a lower result for 2019
14:31 North Pole ice-resistant platform presented by Admiralteiskie Verfi at NEVA 2019
14:09 ABS announces LNG Cargo Ready notation for ethane carriers at Gastech 2019
13:46 Hyundai Heavy Industries receives AIP for new LPG carrier design
13:03 Bunker prices go up at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:40 ABS and AEC сollaborate on newbuild VLEC fleet
12:17 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port handled 171,200 tonnes of cargo in 8M’2019, down 28.5% Y-o-Y
11:58 PortNews-TV offers video on naming ceremony for PortNews tanker
11:36 International symposium on Anthropogenic Underwater Noise held in Hamburg on 10 September
11:09 LR awards DSME AiP for 98,000 m3 VLEC design with High MnA steel tank
10:42 Ships of RF Navy’s Caspian flotilla take part in Tsentr 2019 maneuvers
10:09 Singapore and Panama ink MoU to strengthen maritime relations
09:51 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.20% to $63.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.33% to $58.23
09:49 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Sept 19
09:33 Baltic Dry Index is down to 2,266 points
09:18 ABS grants AIP for two next generation gas carrier designs

2019 September 18

18:26 SGRE confirmed member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in 2019
18:03 MOL repays existing loans through issuance of project bond for FPSO charter project
17:48 Russia’s Rosmorrechflot and Ministry of Industry and Trade develop preferential leasing programme
17:30 Vympel DB develops concept design for Arctic cruise ship