• ITVI.USA
    16,240.330
    -110.510
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.762
    0.031
    1.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.780
    0.120
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,233.310
    -109.890
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,240.330
    -110.510
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.762
    0.031
    1.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.780
    0.120
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,233.310
    -109.890
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

ExxonMobil to ramp up low-sulfur fuel production

Residual fuels that have “undergone rigorous fit-for-use assessments” will comply with the International Maritime Organization’s low-sulfur cap.

   ExxonMobil says it will produce residual fuels for ships that comply with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization 0.5 percent cap on the sulfur content of marine bunker fuel that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
   The oil giant said the fuel will be available prior to the IMO deadline at Antwerp,
Rotterdam, Genoa, Marseilles, Singapore, Hong Kong and Laem Chabang in
Thailand. It said additional locations, including North America, will be
announced later this year.
   There has been widespread concern that not enough low-sulfur fuel may be available for shipping companies when the sulfur cap goes into effect. Shipping companies can continue to use high-sulfur fuel if their vessels are equipped with scrubbers or they can power their vessels with alternative fuels such as LNG, but it is thought only a limited number of companies will be able to install scrubbers or LNG fueling systems in time to meet the deadline, meaning they will have to rely on low-sulfur fuel to power their ships.
   But even the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) warned last week that potential shortages of
compliant fuel are possible.
   “It is crucial that operators have access to not just compliant fuels but quality compliant fuels prior to the IMO deadline. We are continuing to work on new streams that will provide availability to additional ports and markets,” said Luca Volta, marine fuels venture manager for ExxonMobil. “Our range of IMO 2020 compatible fuels is designed to offer peace of mind and continuity of operation to vessel operators around the world.”
   A concern of shipowners is that if different grades of oil or additives are blended to create a fuel that meets the IMO requirements, problems could arise. This summer the International Bunker Industry Association said it appeared that problems related to contaminated fuel sold in the U.S. Gulf may have affected more than 100 ships.
   ExxonMobil emphasized the quality of the low-sulfur fuels it is developing, saying they have have undergone rigorous fit-for-use assessments and have characteristics that “will help ensure that vessel operators can continue to operate their main engines, auxiliary engines and boilers safely and efficiently when they switch over to low-sulfur fuels.”
   “With so many new grades being developed ahead of the sulfur cap implementation, compatibility is rightly a concern for the industry,” said Volta. “However, operators can be assured that ExxonMobil’s new compliant fuels will be fully compatible with each other as long as crews follow our best practice guidance for bunkering, handling and storage.”

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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