Box shipping: $10 billion (file image/pixabay)
Soren Skou, the chief executive of the world's biggest shipping line, has said the International Maritime Organisation's 0.5% sulpur cap on marine fuel could add between $50-$60 billion to the shipping industry's annual fuel bill.
The box ship sector, of which Maersk is a major player, is contemplating an extra $10 billion for fuel once the change comes into effect from the start of 2020, Skou was reported as saying by price reporting agency Platts.
Skou said he supports the ban although it represented "a heavy burden" on the shipping industry.
To ensure that burden is spread equitably, Skou said he is in favour of a blanket ban on ships using high sulfur fuel oil -- the current sulfur content of fuel oil stands at 3.5% -- unless they have scrubbing equipment installed.
Scrubbing removes the sulfur from the ship's exhaust thereby allowing it to burn high sulfur fuel.
Skou said that Maersk would consider gas-powered box ships when ordering newbuilds but that there were no plans to retrofit existing ships with liquified natural gas fuel technology or install it on current new orders.
Greater use of low sulfur fuel oil, marine gasoil or marine diesel oil are his preferences for 2020, he said.