A recent article in the shipping publication the DCN quoted senior figures from Maersk and ANL as saying that industry must be ready for significantly higher costs as the shipping sector prepares for a low-sulphur fuel world.
Maersk Line Australian sales and country manager Ms Therese Blank and ANL chief commercial officer Shane Walden spoke as part of a panel organised by the Australian Peak Shippers Association and held at Port of Melbourne Education Centre.
Fuel sulphur content is currently capped at 3.5% but from 1 January 2020 the cap is reduced to 0.5%, the limits being an effort to reduce health and environmental impacts.
Ms Blank told the gathering Maersk expected around 90% of the global fleet to adopt low sulphur fuel, as opposed to deploying scrubbers or switching to liquefied natural gas.
“This is a significant change to the industry and we expect significant cost as a result,” she said.
She noted Maersk had already arranged a joint venture allowing for 20% of the low-sulphur fuel that they needed. Meanwhile LNG is seen mainly as an option for new vessels coming onto the market “not retrofitting or upgrading current vessels”.
Ms Blank said Maersk predicted costs of around $15bn per annum in additional costs for the industry and for Maersk that to be around $2bn
“It is a huge increase in costs for shipping companies,” she told the gathering.