The IMO2020 regulation implementation dilemma
Το δίλημμα στην εφαρμογή του κανονισμού IMO2020
Since MARPOL annex VI was adopted in 1997 it has been evident that the shipping industry has been in line with controlling, reducing and gradually eliminating emissions that are harmful to the environment and human health. Technological improvements gave the green light for the revision of annex VI in 2008 and the strengthening of the limitation of the emissions’ sulfur content to 3,.5% globally from 2012 and a further global limitation of 0.5% enforceable in 2020, while complete decarburization of the industry still remains a goal until 2050. With 2020 right around the corner there has been no topic more discussed amongst shipping executives than how each company will choose to comply with the new regulation while remaining viable, sustainable and still profitable to its shareholders. While most ship-owners remained reluctant towards committing to a single way of compliance, either due to the high cost of new technologies or them waiting to see the strategies of their competition in order to create or maintain competitive advantage, it gradually became clear that as 01.01.2020 draws closer a decision would have to be made. At this point, ship-owners have either chosen or will have to choose between installing the rather new and expensive technology of scrubbers, the even more expensive dual fuel engine, which provides the option of consumption of LNG, or consuming low sulfur fuels, that be either distillate fuels, or the new residual fuel that has been a very recent project among refineries and currently still has many questions to be answered. While there is currently no rule of thumb of which option would suit each company, each of the above solutions creates separate challenges, comes with different costs and needs in financing, require different training for shore and offshore personnel and provide benefits to the managing companies, thus will be analyzed and presented in detail.