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Is shipping really ready for the sulphur cap?

Wed 19 Apr 2017 by Paul Fanning

Is shipping really ready for the sulphur cap?

Paul Fanning highlights a high-level debate taking place at the European Marine Engineering Conference

This time next week I will be attending the European Marine Engineering Conference in Amsterdam.

Featured in this will be a debate dedicated to my predecessor as editor of Marine Propulsion Doug Woodyard, which will have as its topic ‘‘This Conference does not believe the shipping industry is ready for the Global Sulphur Cap’.

Clearly a topic like that is bound to raise eyebrows. After all, the global sulphur cap is probably the biggest issue facing the industry at the moment, with implications for all aspects of the global supply chain. This means that the mere idea that the industry may be struggling to cope with its demands has frightening implications.

Nonetheless, the fact that there are senior industry figures on both sides of this debate is proof that there is sufficient doubt on the matter to cause considerable concern.

The complications associated with the sulphur cap have been well documented, but as the deadline gets closer and shipowners are forced to address the practicalities, more issues are likely to arise.

One of the hopes is that this debate should help to clarify these issues and – with any luck – help shipowners to overcome them.

2020 is closer than we think. And the decisions that have to be taken to address its challenges are unavoidable. At this time, a free and frank discussion of the situation on the ground by those who are having to face those challenges promises to be extremely interesting.

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