ABS Offers Guidance on 2020 Sulfur Cap
ABS issued the ABS Advisory on Marine Fuel Oil to help industry prepare for the IMO’s 2020 global sulfur cap. The Advisory provides owners and operators with industry-leading guidance on the considerations and challenges with marine fuels, which are likely to be used in addressing the 2020 global sulfur cap requirements.
“The IMO 2020 sulfur cap requirement will introduce a significant demand change from heavy fuel to low sulfur fuel almost overnight. The industry currently is debating how to prepare as the consequences of this shift are difficult to predict,“ said Dr. Kirsi Tikka, ABS Executive Vice President and Senior Maritime Advisor. “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.”
In a recent informal poll of shipowners and operators conducted by ABS, 53 percent said their fleets were not yet ready to meet upcoming sulfur cap requirements. As the deadline for compliance approaches, it is vital that industry consider the available options and the impacts on their fleets. The ABS Advisory provides in-depth technical guidance covering a range of topics, from fuel properties to operational risks to potential preparations. Using this Advisory to understand the implications of different marine fuels, owners and operators can make smarter decisions on the future of their fleets.
The available options to comply with the global sulfur cap include exhaust gas cleaning, burning compliant fuel or alternative fuels. In 2010, ABS provided guidance on switching from heavy fuel to 0.1% sulfur fuel when entering Emission Control Areas. This Advisory has been widely used by the industry, and ABS has now updated this guidance to cover the regulation entering into force in January 2020.
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.
ABS has led the way in helping industry prepare for upcoming air emission requirements. ABS introduced the world’s first scrubber-ready notation, providing guidance for owners who are planning to retrofit their vessel with a SOx scrubber at a future date. By looking ahead during the design phase and accounting for possible future retrofits, owners are better prepared to cost effectively manage future regulatory requirements.