From January 1, 2016 all product tankers are expected to comply with the new IMO regulations for the carriage of biofuels. One environmental consultancy agency has warned that if ship owners fail to meet the new requirements by the said deadline many product tankers may not be eligible to carry biofuel cargo leading to shortage of product tankers.
- Amendments to IMO Resolution MEPC.108(49) will enter into force on January 1, 2016
- Oil discharge monitoring equipment onboard most existing vessels is not calibrated to handle biofuels
- Less than six months remains to bring existing systems up to date
- Approximately 2,600 product tankers in world may be affected
- Currently there are only five international equipment companies which has the capacity to supply such system upgrades to vessel
- Only few experts can fit the new systems and getting them to the vessels to fit the systems before the ships have to leave port is more challenging
Mike Coomber, managing director of Rivertrace Engineering said “In a spot survey of tanker owners which we carried out recently, we found that most were not aware of the new regulations… They are sleep-walking into a situation in which the employment opportunities for their ships will become seriously jeopardised… Time is running out for many operators.”