Marine fuel regulations are set to change globally on January 1 2020, with a reduction in marine fuel sulphur content from the current 3.50% m/m to 0.50% m/m or alternatively, the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems to reduce emissions to the same level. Since 2015, lower values already apply in some designated "Emission Control Areas". This unprecedented change, initiated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), will affect tens of thousands of ships worldwide and will require ships' crews to adapt to a new way of working, with new fuels starting to enter the market in anticipation of the upcoming change.
Ipieca, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), and many other shipping and shipping-related associations have formed the Marine Fuels Joint Industry Project to advise on practical, operational and safety aspects of the new regime, as well as the development of guidance for ships' crews through e-learning materials. In addition, Ipieca has initiated an outreach programme of conference and workshop presentations, member discussions, and regulator visits to ensure that preparedness levels are as high as practically possible amongst all stakeholders.
Last month, Eddy Van Bouwel, Chair of the Marine Issues Task Force, gave presentations in Cairo, Egypt at a workshop organized by Ipieca member the African Refiners Association (ARA), and Ipieca Technical Director Rob Cox gave presentations at the Singapore Shipping Association/Maritime and Port Authority seminar in Singapore, and at the Asia Downstream Markets and Technology Conference in Lianyungang, China. In addition, Rob was invited by Ipieca member Petronas to present at a half day information exchange workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The presentations covered an overview of the new regulations; new ISO specifications; the challenges faced by both ship owners/operators and the refining and supply industries; strategies for compliance; ship implementation planning; safety, and an outline of the Joint Industry Project activities.
Ipieca at the MPA-SSA seminar (left), at the ARA workshop (middle), and at the Asia Downstream Markets
and Technology Conference (left).