15 May 2018

New Tool for Shipping to Identify Sulphur Cap Limit Strategies and Explain Fuel Options  

Comprehensive Free to Use Evaluator Now Available

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Shipping News Feature WORLDWIDE – Lloyd's Register (LR) has launched an online tool to help the international shipping industry identify the best the strategy for compliance with the global sulphur limit permissible in fuel oil as laid down by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which comes into effect on 1 January 2020. The 'Sulphur 2020 – Options Evaluator' aims to bring some much-needed clarity to what the potential cost and investment implications could be for the various compliance strategies.

Lloyd’s Register says that it hopes that the free to use tool will provide comprehensive indications as to the operating costs and investment implications of different compliance strategies, such as transitioning from high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) to low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO), use of distillates, use of exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) or use of other compliant fuels, such as LNG or methanol. It allows the user to change some of these critical variables to assess and compare the commercial impact and the annual SOx and CO2 emissions of each of these options. LR’s Douglas Raitt, Regional Consultancy Manager Asia, said:

“2020 is around the corner and to date it appears most operators will transition from fuel oil to gas oil operations to meet the global sulphur in fuel oil limit. Scrubber uptake or LNG and Methanol as a marine fuel are slowly evolving, perhaps as a function of a ‘wait and see’ approach by the shipping industry. We developed the options evaluator to give some guidance to operators who have not yet fully considered their options to 2020 compliance.”

There is no clear strategy to compliance. It is dependent on trading patterns, distance travelled, speed, size and type of vessels. The ‘Options Evaluator’ is designed to allow ship operators to compare different compliance strategies by reviewing emissions output and comparing the different CAPEX and OPEX implications of each option. Justin Murphy, CEO International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), commented:

“IBIA is fully involved at IMO on all matters marine fuel related and for years has been the voice of the industry pushing for practical regulations whichever options industry players choose. This options evaluator tool, one of a number being developed, is an aid that may complement owners’ and operators’ future efforts to develop a compliance strategy.”

From 2020, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas will be reduced to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass), down from the current limit of 3.50%. This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxides emanating from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts.

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