The International Chamber of Shipping, representing 36 national shipowner associations, has urged the International Maritime Organization to accelerate a study of the global availability of low-sulfur fuel for ships.
The chamber said its members are worried about the availability and price of fuel that allows their ships to comply with strict IMO regulations aimed at reducing sulfur emissions.
The ICS urged the IMO to move quickly to complete a study, due for completion in 2018, on changes required by the Marpol Annex VI regime.
Marpol would limit fuel to 0.5 percent sulfur content outside emission control areas by 2020, although full implementation may be postponed until 2025. Low-sulfur fuel already is required in some emission control areas near coasts.
“It is essential that a global fuel availability study is carried out sufficiently in advance of 2020 in order to give the refiners adequate time to invest and react,” ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe said. “The major refinery upgrading required could take a minimum four or five years, perhaps longer, and we fear that completing the study in 2018 would simply be too late.”