The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) has expressed its growing concern in view of the magnitude of the challenge lying ahead for the industry and the need for a smooth transition.
The concern is coming with less than five and a half months away for the 2020 global sulphur limit implementation.
INTERCARGO which was established in 1980 with the objective of giving a voice to ship owners, managers and operators of dry cargo vessels and represent better this shipping sector, says the global availability of safe compliant fuels remains a key question largely unanswered.
The power of INTERCARGO, like its partner shipping associations, is that collectively, it is possible to change bulk carrier industry for the better in a world where one bulk carrier shipowner acting on its own finds it most difficult to make itself heard and facilitate progress.
The requirement for the sulphur content of fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas not to exceed 0.50% as of January 1, 2020 marks a sea change in the marine fuels’ supply chain.
According to the association, ‘’it is extremely worrying that compliant fuels have so far been made available only in a limited number of ports and under unfavorable terms for voluntary early testing by ships, as Charterers/Operators are not currently obliged to purchase future compliant fuel.
‘’Hence, the practical testing of new fuels and crew training, which is only possible under real conditions aboard ships, is very limited and pushed to the end of year – this situation creates significant safety implications for the operation of ships, which could eventually threaten the safety of seafarers, ships, and cargoes, as well as the marine environment.’’
In anticipation of the new fuels made available for practical testing aboard ships well before the end of 2019, it is urging that:
– the fuel supply industry provides the market with significant volumes of compliant fuels at many ports around the world, so that all sectors can be serviced, including the dry bulk sector
– the Charterers/Operators start purchasing these fuels
– the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.50% limit is made available as soon as possible to provide guidance on the application of the existing ISO 8217 specification for marine fuels
– the ship Owners/Operators enhance crew training. Seafarers deserve our special consideration, as the industry will largely rely on their skills for managing the new compliant fuels aboard ships on the high seas to ensure a smooth implementation of this drastic change.
INTERCARGO works closely with the other international maritime associations – BIMCO, INTERTANKO and the International Chamber of Shipping who, together with INTERCARGO, comprise the Round Tableof International Shipping Associations.
The aim of the Round Table is to maximise the benefit to members and to avoid costly and inefficient duplication of activity. They believe that this strategy of working together is in the best interests of our collective memberships.
Their members commit to a safe, efficient, high quality and environmentally-friendly dry cargo shipping industry, and the group considers that free and fair competition in the shipping industry is of fundamental importance and this serves as its prime principle.
Meanwhile, INTERCARGO aims to create strategies to enhance the interests of its Members for the benefit of the dry cargo shipping as a whole.