At day one of Riviera Maritime Media’s Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference in Amsterdam, Gavin Lipsith found reasons to be cheerful and fearful in equal measure as shipping considered its path through 2020 and towards 2050
At day one of Riviera Maritime Media’s Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference in Amsterdam, I found reasons to be cheerful and fearful in equal measure as shipping considered its path through 2020 and towards 2050.
Reason to be cheerful 1: It appears that very low-sulphur fuel oil blends are less prone to stability and compatibility issues than many have feared according to preliminary samples by VeriFuel and an ISO 8217 fuel standard working group study. Good news for those planning to meet 2020 sulphur limits by using compliant fuel.
Reason to be fearful 1: Concerns about the availability and pricing of such fuels persist, as do worries about engine cylinder condition while using them and about how to encourage consistent enforcement and compliance.
Reason to be cheerful 2: Some key players are already closing in on the 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction IMO is targeting by 2030 (based on 2008 levels). Listed bulk carrier owner Star Bulk is almost there thanks to slow steaming, while Carnival Corp keeps smashing through its own ambitious CO2 targets.
Reasons to be fearful 2: The next step, to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2050, will need new solutions that the industry believes must appear by 2030 at the latest if they are to be implemented in time. Can the industry collaborate in the manner it will need to if it is to drive co-ordinated, highly time-pressured research and development?
Cheerful or fearful? There is evidence to support both positions. Perhaps the old saying should be a guide: shipping should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Catch up on news from the Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference online and in print soon.