New IMO Chief Discusses Bunker Industry's Readiness to Supply Low-Carbon Fuels

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday February 1, 2024

The new Secretary General of the IMO discussed the need for the bunker industry to accelerate its shift into supplying low-carbon fuels in his inaugural media briefing on Thursday.

Panama's Arsenio Dominguez took over the role from Kitack Lim at the start of the year, having been elected at an IMO Council meeting in July.

On Thursday he held the first of what are billed to be a regular series of media briefings, seeking to enhance how the UN body communicates its work and objectives to the public.

"On the bunker industry right now, we are in this transition; several alternative fuels continue to be developed," Dominguez told Ship & Bunker at the event.

"We are also addressing at the same time the safety standards and the qualifications that will be needed for seafarers in order to handle those fuels.

"This is part of the unknowns that we have right now.

"The organisation made the decision to be fuel-agnostic, and technology-agnostic, because we need all the help we can get in this challenge."

Bunker industry body IBIA's participation in IMO meetings is part of how the organisation reaches out to the industry to stress the need for cooperation in delivering decarbonisation, Dominguez added.

"We continue to send the message that the fact that we now have a pathway for this organisation also forces, in a way, the energy sector to create those alternative fuels that will be required in order for us to meet the standards.

"That goes back to the implementation of the member states with the energy sector in order to link them in national strategies.

"Part of my role, and the role of the whole organisation when we deal with this activities, is to create more awareness of this."

Part of the IMO's revised GHG strategy, adopted in July, was to set a goal of uptake of zero- or near-zero-GHG emission technologies, fuels or energy sources to reach at least 5%, striving for 10%, of total energy demand from international shipping by 2030.