The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) UAE branch recently hosted a conference in Dubai sponsored by Lukoil where 151 industry professionals met up to try and unravel the Sulphur 2020 conundrum, discussing technical and operational aspects of this initiative and how best to create resilient fuel emission strategies.
Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary of the IMarEST UAE branch, after pounding the gavel, emphasised the critical nature of managing the transition as a radical new marine fuel environment is established. He referred to the growing concern among ship operators around the availability, affordability and appropriateness of the new energy sources. Furthermore, he stressed that lubrication characteristics will need to adopt to the new fuels and lubricating oil management will be a topic brought into increasingly sharp focus.
In his presentation, Sanjiv Wazir, Technical Manager at Lukoil Marine Lubricants, shared an overview of marine fuels post 2020, including IMO projected fuel usage, possible compliant fuels, advantages and concerns. He also highlighted various Lukoil initiatives, such as Navigo MCL Extra and its intelligent cylinder oil lubrication unit, iCOlube. While Sanjiv acknowledged that the 2020 regulations will cause a paradigm shift for the bunker market, he observed that, “Conscientious companies are already diligently preparing for appropriate air emissions compliance options for their vessels. However, those shipowners who remain ambivalent due to uncertainties on fuel quality, availability and costs may fall foul of regulators.” Moreover, P&I clubs were likely to turn down any claims arising from violation of the 0.5% sulphur cap.
The key focus for attendees constituting a cross-section of the Middle East shipping fraternity at this IMarEST meeting was on the technical challenges and realities vexing shipowners after the tumultuous upheaval and recalibration caused by IMO 2020 and future environmental regulations. “The world economy depends on shipping and it is incumbent on the IMO to protect and preserve this lynchpin of global trade”, concluded Nikeel.