Fujairah and Houston are among the major bunker hubs where one leading marine fuel supplier will not initially offer its 0.5% very low sulphur fuel oil.
BP Marine has announced that it will begin selling its new fuel, compliant with IMO’s 2020 sulphur limit, having completed sea trials in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area and in Singapore.
“We have undertaken a comprehensive test campaign, conducting ship-board trials of our new very low sulphur fuel,” said BP Marine global head Eddie Gauci. “Following the success of these sea trials we believe we now have a robust commercial offer that will support customers in complying with Marpol."
The company said that it plans to sell the fuel globally. Its map of initial locations comprises Seattle, Balboa and Cristobal in the Americas; ARA in Europe; Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa; Salalah in Oman; Freemantle, Gladstone and Brisbane in Australia; three sites in New Zealand; and China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
BP will also offer marine gas oil as well as high-sulphur fuel oil for vessels equipped with scrubbers. The company reported that its refineries have made several configuration changes to support the segregation, handling and storage of its new marine fuel offering.
Oil majors including ExxonMobil and Shell have already disclosed their initial plans for the availability of 0.5% sulphur fuel oil, with more locations to be confirmed closer to the entry into force. BP did not confirm, as ExxonMobil did, whether its compliant fuel oil would be compatible across port locations.
The availability of compliant fuel has been a source of concern for shipowners, with observers predicting limited availability beyond big bunkering hubs.
Responses to IMO's global sulphur limits and compliant fuels will be among issues discussed at Riviera Maritime Media's Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference in Amsterdam on 8-9 May.