Caroline Yang. Image Credit: SSA
Shipping companies are looking to November 1 as their "transition date" to the lower sulfur IMO grade fuels.
That date has certainly been earmarked by Caroline Yang, who heads up the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), as when shipping companies will make their move.
"I am working towards the November 1 date," Yang was quoted as saying by maritime news provider Lloyd's List. Yang said that to facilitate the change to the new bunker fuel standard, the SSA has appealed for information on fuel specifications and available quantities of IMO2020-compliant fuel.
Without the information the possibility of "bottlenecks [in the bunker fuel supply chain] is a key concern", Yang said.
Market observers say that major ports should have ample stocks of compliant fuel while smaller ports may see shortages over the short term. However, in addition to the question of sufficient supplies, ship operators remain concerned over the impact on vessel performance from the raft of new bunker fuels coming into the market.
Singaporean shipping company Ocean Tankers has already started to make the change.
SSA's recently appointed Yang is also chief executive of Singapore-based bunker supplier Hong Lam Marine.
The SSA has some 400 members. The global shipping fleet must use bunker fuel capped at 0.5% sulfur or have emissions abatement equipment installed.