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    Shipowners consider bunker fuel options after IMO move to 0.5%S

    The decision by the International Maritime Organization Thursday to lower the global sulfur limit of marine fuels at sea to 0.5% would have a profound impact on the fuel oil and bunker fuel market, but most likely not until the change is enacted in 2020, bunker fuel suppliers and shipowners said.

    Ships outside emissions control areas can burn fuel with a maximum sulfur content of 3.5%S. That will change come January 2020, which sources said would likely leave shipowners scrambling to find a new source of fuel that will meet environmental standards set by the IMO.

    Bunker suppliers and shipowners switched from using a dirty low-sulfur bunker fuel to marine gasoil at the beginning of 2015, when the maximum sulfur content in the North American Emissions Control Area was lowered to 0.1%S from 1%S.

    Some bunker suppliers created a “dirty gasoil” that had some fuel oil blended in with diesel or heating oil, but sources said differing blends from suppliers scared shipowners worried about a potential chemical reaction when combining different streams of dirty 0.1%S fuel oil. As a result, the market largely adopted buying MGO and burning within the ECA……….   Read full Story >

    Source: Shipping Tribune