LNG Use by Ships Gets IMO Boost
The UN's International Maritime Organisation has set 2020 as the year of implementation of its 0.5% global cap on sulphur content in marine fuels.
The decision is expected both to accelerate the use of LNG as a marine fuel by ships in the coming years and reduce avoidable deaths from air pollution.
Certain shipping organisations had called for the introduction of the cap to be deferred until 2025, arguing there was insufficient low-sulphur fuel oil, or alternative LNG refuelling infrastructure, to serve the shipping market. But the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee in the afternoon of October 27 voted in favour of introduction in 2020.
Confirming 2020, an IMO spokesperson said: "We will issue a full statement tomorrow [Oct.28] once the implementing resolution has been adopted."
A group of some 15 LNG suppliers, shipowners and infrastructure operators a week ago declined to take a position on 2020 or 2025 but, nonetheless, said their "members are positioned to help facilitate the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel" whichever date was selected.
A cap of 0.1% sulphur already exists in much of northern Europe and around the coasts of North America, Hawaii and parts of the Caribbean and will remain unaffected by the incoming 0.5% cap elsewhere.