IMO’s Fuel Availability Study is Flawed

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In a dramatic statement released by Lars Robert Pedersen, Deputy Secretary General at BIMCO said that the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) fuel availability study is “flawed” and not sufficient to determine the adequate availability of low sulphur fuel should a 0.50 per cent global sulphur cap be implemented in 2020.

The study, conducted on behalf of IMO, found that there are no key barricades to produce enough compliant bunkers for 2020.

Pedersen’s comments come as part of an announcement made by BIMCO on Monday in which the organisation pointed out that “a significant amount” of the fuel oil that the IMO study suggests will be available for use is unsafe to store and use on board ships.

BIMCO also said, “That the study failed to address how a lack of sulphur removal capacity in refineries will be resolved in time for 2020 and fails to model the disruption that an overnight introduction of the global cap would cause”.

Pedersen further said, “It is clear that the IMO study is flawed, meaning it is not possible to determine from the study that there would be sufficient fuel available in 2020.  On that basis, our opinion is that it would be irresponsible for IMO to make the decision to go for 2020 at MEPC 70 in October”.  He added, “This is not about the cost of low sulphur fuel for ships – that has long been known.  We know that the shipping industry will buy the fuel they need.  But if it is in short supply, the cost will rise not just for shipping but for all users of the fuel.  This will price those in poorer economies out of the market.  It’s a complex issue – but the difficulties in ensuring sufficient refinery capacity and the disruption caused by an overnight introduction have to be thoroughly taken into account”.

BIMCO stressed that other sectors could also face major disturbance if adequate analysis to ensure sufficient fuel availability earlier.

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Source: BIMCO