Rickmers-Linie has declared its support for the introduction of stricter sulphur regulations but expects that they will inevitably lead to an increase in the cost of marine fuels.
“While shipping is already the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, the new regulations help to further reduce the impact on the environment and our health,” says Ulrich Ulrichs, Chief Executive Officer of Rickmers-Linie. “But low sulphur fuels are more expensive and growing demand is widely expected to further increase the costs of these fuels.”
The new regulations come into effect on 1 January 2015 in the Emission Control Areas (ECA) in the US and Canada as well as the North Sea, English Channel and the Baltic Sea (see map). The maximum content of sulphur allowed in marine fuels used in the ECAs will be 0.1%, compared to 1.0% today.
Outside the ECAs, sulphur content in marine fuels will need to be reduced from the current 3.5% to 0.5% by the year 2020. As the result of a review by the IMO in 2018, this deadline might however still be postponed to 2025.
“Rickmers-Linie fully supports the introduction of the new regulations,” says Mr Ulrichs. “Using these fuels during navigation in the ECAs, the content of sulphur and hazardous sulphur dioxides in the exhausts of our vessels will be reduced considerably.
“However, the new regulations will inevitably mean an increase in bunker costs. So we are in the process of implementing a Low Sulphur Fuel Surcharge for quotations valid for shipments arriving to or departing from an ECA on or after 1 January 2015.”
Mr Ulrichs stresses that the effectiveness of the new regulations is tied to powerful enforcement to ensure an industry level playing field and to prevent a weakening of the positive effect on the environment. “We firmly encourage industry players and associations to comply with, and authorities to ensure enforcement of, the new regulations.”
Rickmers-Linie will inform customers of the exact level of the surcharge once calculations have been finalised.