Russia plans to delay sulphur cap through to 2024 on its rivers

Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia are the latest countries to hint that they may not comply with the global sulphur cap when it starts in 64 days time.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak told Bloomberg that the burden for local shipowners from the higher fuel costs coming in from the IMO 2020 rules could prove too difficult.

The new rules “will lead to a sharp hike in the price of fuel for the river fleet and river-sea vessels, which operate mainly in Russia’s territorial waters,” Novak said. The energy and transportation ministries are seeking ways to postpone the sulphur cap introduction on its rivers through to 2024. However, Russia will comply with IMO 2020 standards in international waters, Novak stressed.

Russia’s refiners are one of the top producers of heavy fuel oil for shipping and have yet to make a full switch to low sulphur fuel.

The IMO told Bloomberg it had yet to receive any official notification from Russia on its plans to postpone the introduction of the sulphur cap.

In recent months, Splash has also reported on rumours that both Indonesia and India were looking at delaying the introduction of IMO 2020.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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