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Preparing for the new global sulfur cap

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Dry Bulk,

Fuel service provider, World Fuel Services (WFS) is urging cooperation between the shipping, bunkering and energy sectors to prepare for the new global sulfur cap on marine fuels. The 0.5% cap – a significant reduction on the current 3.5% limit – was confirmed recently at by the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee.

“This will be a huge undertaking but it is not unexpected,” said WFS in a press release. “The industry has already had many years to prepare for this reckoning.”

In addition to buying low-sulfur fuel, shipping companies can reduce their sulfur emissions by installing exhaust gas cleaning systems or use alternative fuels, such as LNG.

“Communication will be vital in the run-up to 2020. The world’s refining sector, the fuel storage operators, the port and flag state authorities and, of course, the bunkering community will have to work together constantly to make sure that the tanks are full with the right kind of fuel on 1 January 2020,” said WFS.

The uncertainty created by the new regulations could also increase the importance of the fuel trader’s role in the post-2020 bunker market, added World Fuel Services, as bunker buyers look to their trading partners to “bridge this information gap” – particularly when buying on the spot market from non-traditional suppliers.

“A global organization, such as does not just extend credit, it also provides credibility. Fuel buyers can have confidence that they are dealing with a partner who, with extensive expertise, is fully familiar with the fuel supply situation in every major port and has a clear understanding of each supplier’s reputation,” concluded the company. “Indeed, WFS will have a close knowledge not just of the supplier but of every player in the supply chain.”

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