Global marine fuel sulphur cap - challenges of a 2020 implementation



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Report summary

Regulations have now been adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requiring all marine fuel used outside Emission Control Areas to contain less than 0.5% sulphur from the start of 2020. Compliance options such as installing scrubbers on vessels or switching to LNG are expected to have limited impact by 2020 so the main compliance option in 2020 will be switching to low sulphur distillate fuels. This will lead to a major price spike for distillate fuels and increased shipping costs. An implementation road map should be forthcoming at the next IMO meeting in May 2017 and there appears to be recognition that a period of transition will be required with the possibility of exemptions for vessels unable to source low sulphur fuel.

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