Global Sulphur Limit on Marine Fuels


Energy Consumption and Emissions

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instituted new regulations that wef on 1st January 2020, Sulphur emissions from the marine sector in international waters were to be slashed. From 1st January 2020, the limit for Sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas was reduced to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass). This will result in a significantly reduced amount of Sulphur oxides emanating from ships which should have major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts.

To comply, shippers had options to switch to Marine Gasoil (MGO) or Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO), to continue using High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) for vessels retrofitted with on board scrubbers or to use to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a bunker fuel. Over 2019 CNCo worked hard to ensure that the switch takes place prior to the regulation coming into force and simultaneously running educational campaigns for our customers on the implications of the higher bunker price.

The change-over to compliant fuels took place over the course of December 2019. The Multipurpose Vessels (MPV) were able to burn all HSFO in December and hence had no non-compliant fuels going into the new year. For the bulk fleet, seven ships were unable to burn all the HSFO before changing over on 31st December due to unexpected delays in port or at anchorage. The non-compliant fuel was de-bunkered prior to the 1st March 2020 deadline and the fleet was always in full compliance of the regulations.


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Significantly reducing the amount of Sulphur oxides emanating from ships will have major health and environmental benefits for the world.

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