Lloyd’s Register (LR) has developed an online tool to help the shipping industry comply with the upcoming sulphur in a fuel oil limit of 0.50% mass by mass, which is scheduled to come into effect globally on 1 January 2020.

The ‘Sulphur 2020 – Options Evaluator’ has been designed to analyse the potential cost and investment implications for various compliance strategies, including transition from fuel oil to marine gas oil (MGO), use of scrubbers and high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) or use of other compliant fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or methanol.

According to LR, no clear compliance strategies have been designed for the operators and they are based on trading patterns, distance travelled, speed, size and type of vessels.

Using the ‘Options Evaluator’, ship operators can compare different compliance strategies by reviewing emissions output, as well as comparing the capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) implications of each option.

“It appears most operators will transition from fuel oil to gas oil operations to meet the global sulphur in fuel oil limit.”

LR Asia regional consultancy manager Douglas Raitt said: “2020 is around the corner and, to date, it appears most operators will transition from fuel oil to gas oil operations to meet the global sulphur in fuel oil limit.

“Scrubber uptake or LNG and methanol as a marine fuel are slowly evolving, perhaps as a function of a ‘wait and see’ approach by the shipping industry.

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“We developed the options evaluator to give some guidance to operators who have not yet fully considered their options for 2020 compliance.”

International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sulphur 2020 regulation is expected to limit sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions from ships with an aim to improve air quality and protect the environment.