Beginning on 1 January 2020, all vessels worldwide will only be able to refuel using fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 percent – this is the requirement of the global fuel guideline known as IMO2020. As of 1 March, no vessel will be permitted to have on board any fuel with a high sulphur content. Only ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems will be excluded. In order to be compliant at the turn of the year and to consume their remaining heavy fuel oil in time, shipping companies are already having to make a number of preparations. This is both expensive and time-consuming.
The so-called IMO2020 regulation will entail a radical change for the entire shipping industry. Transitioning from fuel with a sulphur content of 3.5 percent to low-sulphur fuel oil will be a complex task. “It’s not about simply flipping a switch at the turn of the year, as every single ship will have to be closely examined to determine the best possible type of change depending on its design,” says Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet Management at Hapag-Lloyd. “That’s why a large number of Hapag-Lloyd departments connected to fleet operations are currently working on this issue.”