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Gearing up for the 2020 global sulphur cap

Shipowners, ship managers and operators have been warned that they should already have started planning to comply with the IMO’s 2020 global sulphur cap.

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Olivier Baiwir, CEO of Aderco, a leading maritime fuel treatment company, believes some in the maritime industry perceive the start of the cap as being nearly a year away, but they need to rethink that position and quickly to ensure they will be compliant with the new regulations.


“The IMO sulphur cap starts on 1 January 2020 but in reality the planning for compliance is just over a month away,” said Baiwir. “By this March, shipowners, ship managers and operators need to be lining up their treatments in preparation for the end of 2019 when they will be bunkering the new fuels.


“Despite the recent highly publicised bans on open-loop scrubbers, fuel treatment remains the most cost-effective and simplest way to address compliance, as well as providing an extra bonus of helping to protect your marine diesel engines.


“In this vital run-up to the cap, flushing and cleaning of tanks prior to bunkering new fuel is the most imperative of the tasks needed to be tackled. Even the slightest amount of high-sulphur fuel remaining in the tank will mean non-compliance. Using fuel treatment from our recommended date of June this year should provide the necessary flushing and cleaning ready for the new fuel.”


Olivier Baiwir sees additives as a continuous and highly effective solution to the cap and the smart way towards compliance. It is poured directly into storage tanks prior to bunkering and can also be added directly into fuel tanks to reduce comingling risks, regenerate the current sludge into usable fuel and clean out contaminants before taking on the new low-sulphur fuel.


Unlike other methods of compliance for 2020, fuel treatment also works to protect engines, something that Aderco said its experts have been working on with customers since the 1980s.


“We have been advising our customers that compliance with the cap starts in the fuel tank and that now is the time to really start preparing for IMO2020. With our fuel treatment solution, shipowners, ship managers and operators can rely on this proven method without having to worry about costly dry-docking or any off-hire.


“Our concern is that there will be some ships reaching the end of 2019 without being ready for the new fuels. The simplest and most cost-effective method is a fuel treatment.


“With a strong focus likely to be on the shipping world and policing by Port State Control in the early part of 2020 for anyone not adhering to the new rules, the chances are that some will find themselves on the end of hefty fines and detentions for non-compliance. When all it takes is the addition of a fuel treatment it seems a small price to pay for peace of mind and operational efficiency.”


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