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WSC: Low-sulfur fuel rule delay will ‘penalize’ carriers

Alarmed by the cost involved in becoming compliant with the low-sulfur fuel rule and its projected global economic cost which as WSJ reported could reach upwards of $100 billion, of which about $10 billion will impact the U.S. economy,the Trump administration has suggested delaying the Jan. 1, 2020.  

The World Shipping Council, however, saw any delay in implementation and diversion from the Jan 1, 2020 would be harmful to the industry.
   “Any uncertainty or delay at this point would confuse markets and penalize ship owners and fuel suppliers that are already investing to ensure compliance,” said John Butler, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council. “Adding uncertainty to an already expensive regulation would increase, not decrease, the potential for economic harm.” 

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) considered IMO’s new rule effective Jan.1, 2020, “will be disruptive to both the shipping and refining sectors”.
   “Due to a sudden switch in the fuel mix, potential shortages of compliant fuel are possible, especially middle distillates, which could spread to other sectors too. It is hoped that there will be sufficient flexibility in the refining system in order to avoid any extreme events in the years to come,” OPEC said.

 IMO appears intent on implementing the new rule as specified and it is standing its ground on the enforcement of the 2020 sulfur cap. 

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