IMO2020: deadline stays (file image/pixabay)
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has said "categorically" that the global 0.5% sulfur cap on marine fuel - set to start from January 1, 2020 - will go ahead as planned.
"I can categorically say there will not be a delay," Edmund Hughes, the head of air pollution and energy efficiency at the IMO, was quoted as saying by Reuters during the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.
"A delay to the regulation would damage the IMO's reputation and credibility as a rule-making body for international shipping and would lead to more regional and national action to control air pollution from ships," he said.
Separately, Frederick Kenney, director of legal affairs and external relations with the IMO, was reported as saying that even if a motion was proposed by member states to change the implementation date, it would take 22 months for any amendments to take effect, which would run beyond 2020.
Industry concerns about the implementation of the new rule on bunker fuel have centred on the sufficient availability of compliant fuel, the potential for instability within new forms of fuel oil and the wider question of how many ship operators will comply with the global ruling.