Three Major Concerns About IMO 2020 Compliant Fuels


As the shipping industry goes into the IMO 2020 Compliant fuel use, there are certain issues pertaining to compliant fuels which seem to bother shipowners. This the time when we need to more aware and vigilant about these fuel problems. Hence, Viswa Lab in its latest technical update is trying to give an insight into the compliant fuel issues and how to tackle it.

The Primary Concerns

The top three concerns among the fuel users about the IMO 2020 compliant fuels are the following;

  • Availability
  • Quality
  • Pricing

They will be discussing about these three aspects in the next three technical updates.

Issues Bothering Shipowners

  • Availability of Fuels that would meet IMO 2020 0.5% sulfur limits
  • Are these new VLSFO already been supplied to ships?
  • When will the new VLSFO be available?
  • Will all ports have the capability to make IMO 2020 complaint fuels?
  • Can you give us some details of the suppliers who are already supplying VLSFO fuels?
  • What type of IMO 2020 complaint fuels are supplied in different parts of the world?

These are some of the questions that we were asked by many of our maritime customers about the availability of VLSFO’s.

Fuel Availability

Availability is one of the major concerns lingering in the minds of ship managers, owners & charterers. While the maritime community is about 264 days away from the IMO 2020 enforcement, we see that the fuel users are gearing up their operations for a smooth transition.

What are suppliers doing?

As a testing lab for over 600 shipping companies worldwide we have been testing several VLSFO’s from different suppliers all around the world. We see that a lot of shipping companies have started using the new hybrid blends on an experimental basis on their vessels (feasibility studies). Some of the companies like Shell, BP in fact are inviting clients to reach out to them if they want to try out these new hybrid blends. While some of the majors have announced that the availability of these fuels in the third or fourth quarter. A majority of suppliers (Exxon, Shell, BP etc) have announced the availability of these fuels at various ports in the world. The Port of Fujairah has recently issued a circular indicating the availability of the complaint fuel from February 2019.

In some of the South American ports (eg: Argentina, Brazil) the fuels that are currently available are just straight IMO 2020 complaint fuels for years now. There are other ports around the world that are supplying possibly straight fuels (similar to high sulfur fuels but with sulfur less than 0.5% wt).

IMO’s take on availability

The Marine Environment Protection Committee, at its seventy‐third session (22 to 26 October 2018), urged Parties to MARPOL Annex VI and other Member Governments to inform the Organization of the availability of compliant fuel oils in its ports and terminals via the GISIS MARPOL Annex VI module well in advance of 1 January 2020.

Viswa Lab’s report on the availability

For the benefit of our maritime clients we have gathered information from several sources about the availability of these IMO 2020 compliant fuels. The list covers several major ports. The suppliers listed in the table below some of them are already providing these complaint fuels and some have announced their readiness to supply these fuels in the later part of 2019.

Note: Please note the list is made using information available online as well as the data that they have gathered from internal resources. This table will be updated and issued to our customers as they go forwards. Suppliers are welcome to contact them and add them to the list.

Further Contact

USA +1 713 842‐1985‐lab/

Houston, Singapore, UAE, UK

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Source: Viswa Lab



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