The International Maritime Organization (IMO) implemented a ban on the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship - unless the ship has an approved exhaust gas cleaning system ("scrubber") fitted, from 1 March.
This new measure does not allow vessels without exhaust cleaning scrubbers systems (EGCS) installed to carry bunker fuel with a sulphur content higher that 0.50%. Port Authorities now have the right to arrest ships found to be non-compliant with the new regulation.
Some reports say the stricter measures will lead to a further drop in HSFO demand, which fell a further US$2.12/tonne on a global basis, according to the latest index.
Overall, the spread between 380HSFO and VLSFO on a global basis is narrowing considerably, from in excess of US$300 in January, by the 2 March it has decreased to around US$130/tonne mark. The shift in price of VLSFO relative to HFO must be a growing concern for those owners that fitted expensive EGCSs.
Nevertheless, IMO believes the implementation of the new restriction will enhance and strengthen its 2020 sulphur strategy.