Unione Petrolifera confirms: “Industry is ready for IMO 2020”
Despite few technical problems, 0.5% sulphur fuel will be available in Italy: final decision on available alternatives should be made by shipowners
As confirmed by Claudio Spinaci, President of Unione Petrolifera, Association joining major Italian oil companies operating in the downstream, “The Italian oil industry is definitely ready to supply 0.5% sulphur oil” pursuant to IMO (International Maritime Organizzation) regulations to be enforced in January 2020, although few left technical problems need to be sorted out.
As illustrated Ship2Shore, by Spinaci purchased fuel must be blended with the one stored in ships' tanks, anywhere in the world, without causing technical problems.
Very difficult task due to the wide variety of oil streams which might be used to produce the new bunker.
The President of the Association recalls that two important ISO meetings, aimed at finding an adequate solution, were arranged last August gathering 25 renowened experts from different shipping sectors (oil industry, shipping Associations, classification societies, shipowners, engines manufacturers etc..). A subsequent meeting was attended in Philadelphia followed by a new one in Copenhagen a few weeks ago. Obviously – Spinaci said - very low sulphur bunker is the only solution to meet the new sulphur cap.
“Scrubbers can be installed and traditional sulphur could be used, however the whole fleet should be upgraded considering that 400-500 units out of 80,000 ships have such equipment on board.
A third solution would be LNG “green, low-cost fuel, however the fleet should be also upgraded and, for the time being, no IMO identification code has been issued.
Moreover, LNG – continues Spinaci – “shows some technical problems due to its physical properties: its lower density implies disposing of twice larger tanks on board (having to store the product at – 156 °C)”.
According to the helm of the Association, final decision should be taken by shipowners, the downstream will have to change and huge insvestments will be required.
For the time being overall 11 billion Euro have been allocated, plus additional investments in distribution and storage infrastructures.
A long time will be necessary and each single decision will have to be thoroughly and seriously evaluated.