At the Posidonia I tried to gauge who will benefit from the impending 2020 Sulphur Cap in 18 months’ time.
I heard a great deal of known unknowns. For instance, have main engines been tested running blended fuel oils? The stock reply was that there is a blended fuel standard, and therefore no testing required. Really? If you have knowledge on this, please contact me to discuss.
On low sulphur fuel, there were widespread doubts that enough will be available. I was told that a 3.0M to 3.2M b/d increase is required, driving a flow of low sulphur fuel from modern refineries in the East.
Bulk fuel oil shipments from East to West have traditionally been the first cargo of uncoated Aframax and Suezmax newbuildings, but will there be enough of these leaving the yards in 2020 to satisfy demand?
This leaves the door open for MR product tanker owners to write an investment story where they appear as the winners of this diabolically complex plot.
As I listened to the product tankers, I couldn’t help but get the feeling they were licking their collective lips at the thought of 2020.