In Depth: Calleya: Sulphur Cap Is a Very Hard Deadline, No Exceptions

The International Maritime Organization and its member states have been discussing the upcoming sulpur cap regulation for a few years in order to support the transition for the very hard deadline of January 1, 2020, according to John Calleya, Technical Officer for Air Pollution, International Maritime Organization.

Speaking with World Maritime News during the Sustainable Marine Development Towards 2030 and Beyond conference, taking place in Jeddah this week, Calleya said that these issues have been on the table for quite a long time.

The organization has been having discussions with numerous industry stakeholders, including the  International Organization for Standardization (ISO) industry group, as well as the shipping industry and IMO member states, in order to facilitate consistent implementation of the sulphur cap.

Calleya said that this included ensuring that Port State Control have what they need to inspect ships, that shipowners have all the right information and that they can bunker compliant fuel.

However, some shipowners and operators within the Red Sea reported that they still do not have access to or supplies of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) ahead of the hard deadline to the rule, which does not have exemptions, as Calleya explained.

Speaking about possible solutions for these industry stakeholders, he said that there is a fuel oil non-availability report which shipowners can fill in if they cannot bunker compliant fuel, however, “this is intended for temporary purposes only. The shipowners should have a plan to bunker compliant fuel.”

He added that this would depend upon the enforcement and the Port State in that region in terms of actions that need to be taken.

Calleya also elaborated on an ongoing debate on two proposed mandates, to limit ships’ cruising speed and to limit their propulsion power, saying that this topic has been discussed in the context of the electronic data interchange (EDI) regulation since 2011.

As explained, limiting propulsion power raises concerns as vessels that have less installed power also have less power to maneuver the ship, which could become a problem in some situations, such as when vessels encounter bad weather.

“What members states are discussing at the moment is having a shaft power limit device that you can turn off when you need the extra power,” Calleya informed, adding that member states believe this could balance the need for power with the need to reduce energy use from ships.

When asked about the 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent, Calleya said that it is attainable, “but to get those really high savings industry stakeholders have to start looking at alternative fuels,” which is a part of the member states’ initial strategy.

“There is an understanding that you have to start to look for alternative fuels to get the really high CO2 reductions. Efficiency measures can also be used, but the savings are more limited than actually changing the fuel for lower carbon fuel,” he concluded.

World Maritime News Staff

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