With less than 18 months to go until the start of IMO’s global sulphur cap an overwhelming 86% of Splash voters believe the new law will suffer a disastrous introduction.
Following on from quotes from Esben Poulsson, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) last month, we asked readers in our latest quarterly survey, MarPoll, whether the sulphur cap risked being an “unholy mess” for shipowners. So far, with more than 200 votes counted, 86% believe it will be.
“It is still far from certain that sufficient quantities of compliant fuels will be available in every port worldwide by 1 January 2020,” Poulsson said in a release on being reelected to head ICS last month. “And in the absence of global standards for many of the new blended fuels that oil refiners have promised, there are some potentially serious safety issues due to the use of incompatible bunkers.”
Poulsson said that shipowners still have no idea what types of fuel will be available or at what price, specification or in what quantity.
“Unless everyone gets to grips with this quickly we could be faced with an unholy mess with ships and cargo being stuck in port,” he warned.
One Splash voter commented: “How can it not be? My prediction is it will arrive with great fanfare. Most ships will not be in compliance as the right fuel supply will not be available everywhere. Eventually more ships will not be in compliance than those that are. A new date will be set further into the future allowing fuel suppliers to get it together.”
The sulphur cap was one of the hot topics at last week’s Posidonia gathering in Athens with many owners calling for slow steaming en masse to combat – and profit from – the impending regulation.
Stamatis Tsantianis, CEO, Seanergy Maritime Holdings, claimed last week that a likely slowdown of the global merchant rate will see rates spike. “2020 will be one of the best things to hit shipping for 20 years,” he predicted.
Kitack Lim, secretary general of the IMO, was also on hand in Athens last week where he reiterated that the 2020 deadline for implementation of the cap will not be pushed back.
“There are certain challenges we have to resolve in a most amicable way,” he said at Capital Link’s Athens event eight days ago, urging industry representatives to join IMO member states at a key intersessional meeting at the UN body this July to discuss some of the technical aspects of the looming cap.
The ongoing Splash vote follows on from a recent informal poll of shipowners and operators conducted by US class society ABS, which found that 53% of respondents said their fleets were not yet ready to meet the 2020 sulphur cap requirements.
The sulphur cap is one of nine topics covered in our latest quarterly survey. To vote, takes just two minutes and there is no registration. To vote, click here.