Over half of shipowners and operators said their fleets were unprepared for the 2020 sulphur cap regulations, according to an informal poll conducted by class society ABS.
The group put the question of sulhpur cap readiness to shipowners and operators who registered for a webinar in April. Of the 133 that replied, 53% said their fleets were not ready.
ABS cited the poll as the group released an updated advisory on marine fuel oil aimed at educating shipowners and operators on the compliance options available to them ahead of 1 January 2020 when the IMO-required global cap on sulphur in fuel comes into force.
According to ABS, the advisory offers technical guidance for owners and operators still uncertain about navigating the changing fuels landscape expected to result from the 2020 sulphur cap.
With available compliance options including exhaust gas cleaning (scrubber) systems, compliant fuels containing less than 0.5% sulphur content and alternative fuels such as LNG, ABS said its advisory sought to provide owners and operators with in-depth technical guidance as they made their fuel choice.
According to ABS executive vice president and senior maritime advisor Dr Kirsi Tikka, IMO’s sulphur cap will shift demand from heavy fuel oil to low-sulphur fuel oil “almost overnight”.
“The ABS Advisory addresses concerns about the safety impacts and quality of the new blended and hybrid fuels that are currently not covered by the ISO fuel standard and provides guidance on fuel selection, modification considerations and operational challenges,” she said.
ABS said its Advisory on Marine Fuel built on guidance on switching from heavy fuel oil to 0.1% sulphur fuel the group published in 2010 to assist shipowners and operators in complying with emissions control area requirements.
The updated ABS Advisory includes background on air emission regulations and evaluates several relevant fuel types and the associated impacts and operational challenges for each.