Hong Kong is among a small group of global ports that has been assured of a supply of 0.5% sulphur marine fuel by oil major, BP ahead of the 1 January 2020 deadline for low sulphur fuel compliance. Other territories considered priority include: Seattle, Panama (Balboa/Cristobal), South Africa (Cape Town/Durban/Richards Bay), Oman (Salalah), ARA, China, Singapore, Australia (Fremantle/Gladstone/Brisbane), and New Zealand.
“BP supports the ambitions of Marpol to reduce air pollution from ships and we have been actively working with partners to prepare for its introduction. We have undertaken a comprehensive test campaign, conducting ship-board trials of our new very low sulphur fuel. Following the success of these sea trials, and working closely with our customers, we believe we now have a robust commercial offer that will support customers in complying with Marpol,” said Eddie Gauci, global Head, BP Marine.
Working closely with the International Maritime Organization, customers and partners, BP has developed a marine fuel offer that includes this new VLSFO along with marine gas oil and also high sulphur fuel oil for vessels that are equipped with scrubbers. BP intends to retail the new 0.5% sulphur VLSFO globally.
BP added that in order to manufacture a full range of Marpol-compliant marine fuels, its refineries have made a number of configuration changes to support the segregation, handling and storage of the fuels.
What on the surface looks like an encouraging development has instead led to some anxiety over the limited number of ports offered peace of mind come 1 January 2020. Many non-major ports seemed destined not to be able to supply the fuel when the deadline arrives.