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IMO 2020: what proportion of ships will be fitted with sulphur scrubbers?

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The implications of the IMO 2020 regulations was a key topic at Wood Mackenzie s annual Downstream & Chemicals Forum. A key takeaway was the deep sense of uncertainty around the IMO regulations and routes to compliance. Delegates had a wide range of views on the likely penetration of sulphur scrubbers in the shipping market by 2025. While there was no clear consensus the combined weighted average penetration rate (at 19%) was similar to other industry views. Our base case is relatively aligned with this outlook forecasting 17% of vessels in the international fleet to be installed with scrubbers by 2025. The general sense was that a wait and see attitude still pervades the industry. On the one hand installation bottlenecks will become more acute if shipping companies leave it until the last minute to get a scrubber installed. But on the other hand a deep sense of uncertainty will likely persist until there is more clarity on the price and availability of ULSFO.

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