Norwegian car carrier operator Höegh Autoliners has outlined its tank cleaning programme to prepare 40 vessels for compliance with the impending global sulphur regime.
The company has selected very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and marine gas oil to comply with IMO’s new 0.5% sulphur limit, which enters force in 2020. The company has now started its regime of tank cleaning for those ships that it manages directly within its 55-strong owned fleet.
Head of business analytics Håkon Kiil said: “We have evaluated the alternative methods of IMO 2020 compliance and decided to go for the new compliant fuel, like the vast majority of the shipping companies. All tanks need to be compliant before 1 January 2020, and we expect to consume compliant fuel before the deadline."
More than 450 bunker tanks on 40 vessels must be cleaned according to IMO’s guidelines before end of 2019. Head of technical operations Geir Frode Abelsen explained that each tank will be cleaned twice according to a set procedure.
The shipowner noted that it was also tracking where compliant fuel will be made available. Bunker purchasing manager John Nilsen highlighted uncertainty about availability in small ports. “This is something we expect the refineries to show the shipping industry a solution to, before the new regulations take effect,” he said.
Höegh expects that all its commercial contracts with customers will reflect its use of sulphur-compliant fuel by the end of 2019.