The Maritime Transport Efficiency conference will take place just five months after IMO 2020 comes into effect. A great time to discuss its implementation and first effects on the shipping industry.

This new regulation caps the sulphur content in bunker fuel to 0.5% for all commercial shipping vessels, down from current 3.5% (except for Emission Control Areas). The new limit, agreed in October 2016, represents an ongoing effort of the International Maritime Organization to protect the environment and reduce air pollution.

In 2018, the shipping industry used about 3.5 million barrels of high sulphur residual fuel (sulphur content >0.5%) per day, accounting for approximately half of global demandi. Under the 2020 regulation, marine vessels will either need to install exhaust gas cleaning systems (known as scrubbers) or switch to low sulphur distillate fuels or low sulphur fuel oils (or both). 

Photo: © Shaun Cunningham/Alamy