When can a bunker fuel be said to meet
a specific sulphur limit? Unfortunately,
the answer to this fundamental question
is not straightforward. There is a misalignment between the sulphur verification procedure prescribed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the one applied
in commercial contracts throughout the
marine fuel industry. This has been creating confusion and distress for bunker fuel buyers and sellers for years, resulting in friction and frequent disputes.
South Africa has confirmed that it accepts the use of all types of approved exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), also known as scrubbers, in its territorial waters until further notice, including open loop systems. The information was provided in an advisory notice regarding implementation of the IMO’s 2020 global 0.50% sulphur limit issued to shipowners, operators, master mariners and bunker suppliers in March by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). In addition to allowing ships fitted with scrubbers to continue burning high-sulphur bunker fuel from 2020, SAMSA confirmed that ships may use a variety of fuels with no more than 0.50% sulphur, including marine gas oil, low-sulphur fuel oil, LNG and marine biofuels.
In other news from South Africa, a new license holder for off shore bunkering has been announced. SAMSA has recently awarded an off shore trading license to Colt Marine. There are now three license holders in the Algoa Bay region, namely Aegean (now Minerva), SA Marine and Colt. Currently the three licensed suppliers are servicing up to 40 vessels per month.
IBIA Africa recently attended the Bunker Stakeholder meeting hosted in Nqqura by SAMSA. These meetings are held every second month and are attended by the South African bunker industry and supporting industries. It is SAMSA’s objective to promote South Africa’s maritime industry, with a goal of making South Africa a world maritime centre by 2020.
At the time of writing, IBIA Africa is looking forward to hosting our next conference at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, 28 – 30 May 2019. This will be our 4th Regional Conference in Africa, bringing together the region’s bunker industry and creating a platform for networking, engagement with regulators, and shared learning.
We will present the decisions from the 74th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting held in mid-May, the final MEPC before 2020. Our Director, Unni Einemo will share the latest update on the legislation and guidelines from the IMO and the requirements of industry as we enter the new low sulphur era. A post-conference report will be made available online.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our valuable sponsor: African Marine Solutions (AMSOL), a specialist provider of safe and sustainable marine solutions to clients in the region, including management fuel transfers between ships in port and offshore.
Regional Manager: Africa
T +27 412 1593
SA Mobile +27 (0)79 990 7544