Overview of major issues
INTERTANKO Members have had considerable problems with fuel suppliers not providing fuel that is compliant with either IMO requirements or ISO standards, resulting in engine failures and power losses. To address this problem, INTERTANKO has made a number of proposals to IMO to require fuel suppliers to be held accountable if they do not provide compliant fuel to INTERTANKO Members. Recently, IMO has agreed with INTERTANKO to consider measures that can be taken to improve the quality of fuel provided to ships by fuel suppliers. Given that the 0.5% mass global sulphur cap will be implemented from 2020, INTERTANKO will continue to play an active role at IMO to ensure that the outcome of these measures is consistent with members’ needs.
Proper sampling of the fuel is essential in determining if the fuel complies with Members’ requested fuel specifications and appropriate national and international requirements. IMO is in the process of developing guidelines for fuel sampling. INTERTANKO will continue to play an active role at IMO to ensure that the outcome of these guidelines is consistent with Members’ needs.
Annex VI of MARPOL sets specific limits on certain air emissions from ships and its engines. Annex VI also allows member States or regions to establish Emission Control Areas with lower emission limits. One method of complying with these differing emission standards is through the use of different fuel qualities. One fuel is used when not in an ECA and then the tanker switches to the fuel with a lower Sulphur content, as required by MARPOL Annex VI, when approaching and operating in an ECA. Various procedures have been established for switching fuels to ensure compliance with the ECA requirements and to avoid engine problems. Given that the 0.5% mass global sulphur cap will be implemented from 2020, it is becomes more important to INTERTANKO Members that such procedures are clear and not overly burdensome. Provided that EU Coastal States surrounding ECAs have increased remote monitoring of fuels used onboard by ships, it is important that Members do take precautionary measures on their fuel switchover procedures to demonstrate the fuel used, and the initiation of the switchover, were done in a manner that ensures compliance.
To assist in the compliance with international and national air emissions standards, alternative fuels, such as LNG and biofuels, have been developed. Since these types of fuels are relatively new on the market, it is important that proper standards and operational procedures are developed and maintained to ensure safe tanker operations for those Members that wish to utilise these fuels. INTERTANKO will continue to play an active role at IMO and with other organisations to ensure that appropriate standards and operational procedures are developed for use on tankers to meet Members’ needs.
In addition to LNG and biofuels, other types of fuels are being developed to assist in the compliance with international and national air emissions standards. As these alternative fuels become available it is essential to ensure that standards and operational procedures for these fuels are safe for tanker operations for those members that wish to utilise them. INTERTANKO will monitor the development of such fuels and advise Members accordingly to meet their needs.
Technical Director, European Affairs Coordinator, Oslo office manager
t: +47 22 122 650
Senior Manager Technical
t: +44 20 7977 7024
Donna Tang de Leon
Assistant Manager Technical
t: +47 22 122 687
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