The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) annual convention is taking place this week (7th to 11th November) in Gibraltar. It brings many of IBIA’s members together to discuss one of the hottest topics around – the decision taken at the 70th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to implement the 0.5% global sulphur cap in 2020.
IBIA, which has over 880 members from over 91 countries, was a co-sponsor to a proposal to MEPC 70 along with the World Shipping Council, BIMCO, CLIA and ICS and many member states. IBIA helped to draft the document which invited the Committee to consider a process to examine how implementation of the 0.5% sulphur limit might be enhanced.
IBIA also submitted a standalone document to MEPC 70 outlining the idea of a phased approach, which again was backed by many member states. The phased approach was not adopted, but some of the other proposals in the paper may be taken into account as the IMO works on implementing this major global transition.
Peter Hall, CEO IBIA said: “IBIA shares shipping industry concerns that failure to implement the global cap in a uniform and even-handed way will lead to an uneven playing field where shipping companies that comply consistently, will be placed at a significant financial disadvantage.”
He added: “The IBIA convention is always a well-attended meeting with representatives from across the industry and around the world. This year more than ever, our convention offers an invaluable opportunity to hear about the very latest industry developments as we work to find the best ways to address the significant market challenges ahead.”
IBIA is also concerned that uneven implementation of the global sulphur cap would create uncertainty about actual market demand for 0.5% sulphur marine fuel, which would in turn make it difficult for the marine fuel oil supply chain to plan effectively to meet demand, and for ship operators to assess the viability of investing in exhaust gas cleaning systems.
The programme for the annual IBIA Convention offers a conference and trade exhibition, as well as training including Mass Flow Meter adoption and utilisation of digital technology to enhance the industry.
While the outcome from MEPC 70 is likely to be the headline discussion, the other hot topics include:
- the development of key bunkering port hubs and their impact on surrounding ports
- developing best bunkering practice and the use of mass flow meters
- the key environmental issues – compliance and policing
- new fuels – from hybrid to low sulphur fuels to biodiesels, what are the options?
- the potential of LNG as a viable, clean marine fuel compared to scrubbing and other options
IBIA’s event will offer a strong panel of bunkering experts who will answer questions from delegates on a wide range of legal, technical, operational, environmental and commercial subjects.