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Being Well Prepared For 2020


The new IMO 2020 global 0.5% fuel Sulphur content cap regulation will commence 1st January 2020. This new cap represents a significant reduction from the current 3.5 per cent limit and presents the marine industry with a new challenge for compliance.


Ship operators / owners have a few options to choose from for them to comply with the regulation. The options usually include the following:


  • Low-Sulphur distillates such as marine gas oil (MGO)
  • The continued use of High Sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) in conjunction with a scrubber
  • Very Low Sulphur fuels (VLSFO)
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
  • Installation of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (Scrubbers)


Every operator or owner will need to make his or her decision on a vessel-by-vessel basis.  Determining the most effective and cost-efficient option will be based on an evaluation of factors such as vessel type, route, age and engine. Thus far, there is no single formula to compliance: vessel operators could choose to use a compliant fuel, or have a scrubber fitted if they wish to continue burning high-Sulphur fuel oil.  The key is that they need to make their compliance methodology decision fairly soon given that time is ticking toward the 1st January 2020 deadline. 


Once they have decided on their compliance methodology, they will need to start working on the transition. 


From the perspective of a lubricant solutions provider, Gulf Oil Marine which already has a comprehensive portfolio of cylinder oils ranging from BN40 to BN140, developed to optimise two-stroke engine performance whichever compliance methodology chosen by ship operators/ owners post 2020, feels that the bulk of preparation is in the planning for the transition.


To help customers plan the transition, Gulf Oil Marine launched a new documentation platform- 2020 Ship Implementation Plan Toolkit (gulfmarine2020.azurtane.com). This is a documentation platform to help our customers conveniently plan and prepare their ship specific implementation plans for the IMO’s emission regulation.  On top of that, Gulf Oil Marine has a series of “2020 Transition Seminars” around the world to share the technical issues considering a number of preparatory and transitional issues surrounding the shift to the new 0.5% limit from 2020.


Please contact our technical representatives at 2020@gulf-marine.com for information on the above.