Off the coast of Singapore, the world’s biggest ship refueling facility, a container barge sidled next to the supertanker Pu Tuo San to fill the large vessel with a new type of fuel that will meet world standards that begin in January next year.
With a little over five months left until more stringent, marine fuel guidelines come into effect, shippers such as Singapore’s Ocean Tankers that own and operate the vast crude carrier (VLCC) Pu Tuo San have begun testing lower sulfur fuel to arrange their line for the transition.
New International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines are blocking ships from using fuels containing over 0.5% sulfur, compared with 3.5% currently, will begin on Jan. 1, 2020, as a solution to fight air pollution.
The move will have an effect on fuel supplies to over 50,000 merchant ships around the globe. Shippers will have to either put money into exhaust cleaning techniques, known as scrubbers, to continue utilizing cheaper high-sulfur fuels, or burn more expensive oil products, akin to very low-sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) and marine gas oil, or use liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The majority of the global delivery fleet is expected to move to low-sulfur fuels as only about 3,600 ships could have installed scrubbers by 2020, information from ship classification society DNV-GL showed.
Ocean Tankers, the transport unit of Singapore’s largest independent oil dealer Hin Leong, said it should turn its fleet of more than 100 oil tankers to burn VLSFO as a substitute of high-sulfur gas oil in Q4.
The Pu Tuo San is at the moment heading to Fujairah in the UAE.