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IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 Regulation FAQ

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Does your seagoing vessel comply with the 2020 IMO sulphur global fuel standards? We can buy back your old high sulphur fuel and supply you with the new compliant standard of fuel to keep you and your ship afloat.

  1. What is IMO 2020?
  2. Who does the IMO 2020 sulphur cap apply to?
  3. How can vessel operators comply with the IMO 2020 rules?
  4. Switch to low sulphur bunker fuel
  5. Switch to sulphur-free HVO fuel
  6. Use scrubbers
  7. Will there be a “grace period” from 1 January 2020 for the current 3.5% sulphur being used in seagoing vessels?
  8. What are the penalties of not using low sulphur bunker fuel?
  9. Do I have to clean my bunker tank before switching to compliant fuel?
  10. What impact will IMO 2020 have on the environment?
  11. Will there be enough low sulphur fuel?

What is IMO 2020?

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has introduced new legislation to limit the amount of sulphur oxide produced by the marine sector by up to 85%, which will see an ocean of benefits for human health and the environment.

As of 1 January 2020, all seagoing vessels will be required to use marine fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, compared to the current limit of 3.5%. The IMO regulations will see the largest reduction in the sulphur content of a transportation fuel carried out at one time.

IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 Regulation FAQ

Who does the IMO 2020 sulphur cap apply to?

The sulphur cap applies to any fuel oil used on board a vessel, including fuel used in the main engine, auxiliary engines and boilers. Please note; the Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will remain at the 2015 standard of 0.1% sulphur content.

How can vessel operators comply with the IMO 2020 rules?

Vessel operators will need to ensure they are running on compliant fuel or consider the installation of equivalent methods to comply with the IMO 2020 sulphur rules:

Switch to low sulphur bunker fuel

You can choose low sulphur fuels such as marine gas oil (MGO) or ultra-low sulphur fuel oil (ULSFO).

Switch to sulphur-free HVO fuel

HVO fuel is a much cleaner option, with zero sulphur content and up to a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 Regulation FAQ

Use scrubbers

A scrubber is an emission cleaning technology that pumps water through its funnel which cleans the exhaust gases of a ship’s main engine, enabling the continued use of high-sulphur fuels. However, the installation process is limited and costly due to space and capacity constraints and there are problems with the handling/disposal of the washing water that contains the particles.

Unless your ship has a scrubber, any high sulphur fuel oil that’s not used up before 1 January 2020 must be debunkered.

Will there be a “grace period” from 1 January 2020 for the current 3.5% sulphur being used in seagoing vessels?

No. All ships must comply with the new rule from 1 January 2020. We suggest that you have a minimum quantity of 3.5% fuel onboard by mid-December and move to alternative fuels as soon as possible.

What are the penalties of not using low sulphur bunker fuel?

The Port State Control of the respective state will look at logbooks and use sniffer devices and drones to check for any illegal usage of high sulphur marine fuel oil. Penalties will include fines, detention and de-bunkering, which could affect vital requirements such as insurance cover.

Do I have to clean my bunker tank before switching to compliant fuel?

Before replacing your high sulphur fuel with compliant fuel, it’s important to get your tank cleaned to avoid it becoming re-contaminated and causing operational issues with filters as a result of water and sludge formation.

IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 Regulation FAQ

What impact will IMO 2020 have on the environment?

IMO 2020 aims to cut ship sulphur emissions by 85% between 2020 and 2025 to improve human health and reduce air pollution globally. The IMO claims that over 570,000 premature deaths can be prevented during this period from the new legislation.

Reducing sulphur emissions helps cut acid rain, fights ocean acidification and will lead to significant health improvements such as lung cancer, stroke, asthma and pulmonary disease.

Will there be enough low sulphur fuel?

Speedy Fuels has invested in additional low sulphur fuel stock and HVO fuel to ensure there’s enough fuel to meet the 0.5% requirements. We can uplift your high sulphur fuel and deliver compliant fuel to ensure your ship is compliant for the pending 2020 legislation. Get in touch today on 0330 123 5665.

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