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ABS provides guidance on 2020 fuel regulations

Wednesday, 08 Aug 2018

Classification society ABS has issued new guidelines on IMO sulphur cap compliance to assist ship operators as they prepare for new emission regulations in January 2020.

The classification society has stressed the importance of proper due diligence to establish a clear fuel strategy

The ABS Advisory on Marine Fuel is an updated version of earlier guidance provided in 2010 for ship operators preparing to switch from heavy fuel oil to 0.1% sulphur fuel when entering emission control areas. The new guidelines include background on air emission regulations, fuel properties, potential preparations and evaluate the associated impacts and operational challenges relating to each one.
Dr Kirsi Tikka, executive vice president and Senior Maritime Advisor, said: “The IMO 2020 sulphur cap requirement will introduce a significant demand change form heavy fuel oil to low sulphur fuel almost overnight. The industry is currently debating how to prepare as the consequences of this shift are difficult to predict.
“The ABS Advisory addresses concerns about the safety impacts,” she continued, “and the quality of new blended and hybrid fuels that are currently not covered by the ISO fuel standard, and provides guidance on fuel selection, modification considerations and operational challenges.”
Publication of the guidance follows an informal poll conducted recently by the classification society, in which more than half of shipowners and operators said that their fleets were not yet ready to meet the imminent new sulphur cap requirements. As the deadline for compliance approaches, ABS stressed the importance of proper due diligence to establish a clear fuel strategy.
“It is vital that industry considers the available options and the impacts on fleets,” the classification society said in a statement. “Using this Advisory to understand the implications of different marine fuels, owners and operators can make smarter decisions on the future of their fleets.”