As with much of the 93,000 sq m of exhibition space at SMM, the opening press conference of the giant German shipping show yesterday focused on the upcoming 0.5% sulphur cap.
As he did at Posidonia three months ago, Kitack Lim, the secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), used the opening press conference to stress there was no wavering on the January 1, 2020 implementation date of the sulphur cap.
“The entry into force of the sulphur limit on January 1 2020 is a landmark decision for both the environment and for human health. It demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO to ensuring shipping meets its environmental obligations. The major focus for IMO and the industry now is to ensure consistent, global implementation of the new limit,” Lim said.
Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), also took up the issue of the sulphur cap, telling the assembled press: “ICS fully supports the implementation of the sulphur limit and accepts that postponement is not an option.”
What is crucial now is careful planning, he said. “It is important to consider that shipowners must begin purchasing compliant fuels as early as the middle of next year.”
A recent survey by the Swiss investment bank UBS among shipmanagers revealed what all this means: From 2019 until 2023, more than $250bn of equipment investments and operating costs will have to be shouldered by owners to comply with green shipping requirements, much of the technology forming the backbone of this year’s giant SMM exhibition.
Splash is reporting from SMM, the world’s largest shipping event, in Hamburg all week.