Intertanko highly concerned about fuel compatibility under IMO 2020, says Paolo d’Amico

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In a video interview with TradeWinds, Paolo d’Amico, the Intertanko Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the d’Amico International Shipping Group, said that the marine bunker fuel market still remains cloudy, with several dark areas, ahead of the IMO 2020 implementation.

According to d’Amico, Intertanko remains very concerned about availability and compatibility issues which may arise from the use of compliant low-sulfur fuel oil.

Intertanko chairman says that the Association is not sure whether the vessels will be able to source compliant low-sulfur fuels at all bunkering ports worldwide and thus availability disruptions may exist. On the other hand, there are also concerns about specification issues related with the new fuels, which the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is not expected to clear within the first years of the IMO 2020 implementation.

“Intertanko remains extremely worried about how low-sulfur fuels will be compatible”, d’Amico said during a Capital Link International Shipping Forum. However, he added, tanker owners appear to be ready to deal with this new challenge, while most of them are likely to turn into (the tested) marine gas oil, instead of (the new) low-sulfur fuel, especially in case the price margin between the two is not significant.

On the other hand, d’Amico sees some opportunities arising from this new regulation, especially for tanker owners. Intertanko Chairman believes that the fuel market will be hit by inefficiencies, especially during the first year of the low-sulfur cap enforcement, and, as a result, the chartering market might jump. For this reason, the d’Amico shipping group currently employs around 70% of its fleet in the spot market, so as to take advantage of such an upward moving trend, which may start from the second half of 2019, as Paolo d’Amico believes.

Despite the concerns, Intertanko Chairman concluded that “we are just a few months from the implementation of the IMO convention, and … it will work because it will make it work”.

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