2020 compliant fuel availability details announced at SIBCON 2018

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 04 October 2018


Two leading bunker producers used SIBCON to announce initial availability and some basic details of new compliant fuels for meeting the 2020 IMO 0.5% sulphur deadline

During the keynote speech, ExxonMobil announced that all of its low sulphur compliant fuels will be residual grades and will also be compatible with each other, provided best practice guidance for bunkering, handling and storage is followed. The additional locations where the low sulphur fuel range will be available prior to the IMO’s 1 January 2020 deadline include ports in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Genoa and Marseilles in Europe, along with Singapore, Laem Chabang in Thailand and Hong Kong. Additional locations, including North America, and products will be announced during 2018. ExxonMobil also revealed that newly developed cylinder and engine oils, as well as services, will complement ExxonMobil’s fuel offer.


“It is crucial that operators have access to not just compliant fuels, but quality compliant fuels prior to the IMO deadline. We are continuing to work on new streams that will provide availability to additional ports and markets,” said Luca Volta, Marine Fuels Venture Manager, ExxonMobil. “Our range of IMO 2020 compatible fuels is designed to offer peace of mind and continuity of operation to vessel operators around the world.”

The fuels have all undergone rigorous fit-for-use assessments. The specifications will range from RMD 80 to RMG 380, with a density of between 900 and 970 at 15 degrees Celsius. Catalytic fine content will meet the level set out in ISO 8217:2017. The combination of these characteristics will help ensure that vessel operators can continue to operate their main engines, auxiliary engines and boilers safely and efficiently when they switch over to low sulphur fuels.

“These fuel formulations have passed stringent testing protocols, helping to ensure the highest level of quality during challenging times, said Volta. “With so many new grades being developed ahead of the sulphur cap implementation, compatibility is rightly a concern for the industry. However, operators can be assured that ExxonMobil’s new compliant fuels will be fully compatible with each other as long as crews follow our best practice guidance for bunkering, handling and storage.”

Details of the new cylinder and engine oils will be shared during the company’s ‘Journey to 2020’ symposiums series. The first symposium will be held at the Equinox Complex in Singapore, 26 October, followed by events in Hong Kong, Taipei, Athens, Tokyo, Imabari, Copenhagen and Hamburg. Further details about the events are available here.

Shell’s global marine fuels network also rolled out the planned fuel availability for 2020 to customers The announcement said the company supports ship owners and charterers as they prepare for the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 0.50% global sulphur limit for marine fuels in 2020.

The availability for Shell’s new 0.50% very low sulphur marine fuel oil (VLSFO) was included as part of the rollout. Trials for the new fuel are currently ongoing with customers in Rotterdam, Singapore and New Orleans.

The list of ports where Shell’s VLSFO 0.5% 2020 compliant fuel will be available includes Freeport (Bahamas), New Orleans, Houston, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Barcelona, Piraeus, Danish Strait, Fujairah, Durban, Richards Bay, Mauritius and Singapore.

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