Korean Shipowners to Prepare for IMO Sulfur Oxide Regulation


IMO2020 Regulation fully Effective to Increase demands for Low Sulfur Oil as Guidelines are Available to Shipowners

「A Guideline for the supply and use of 0.50%-sulphur marine fuel」, ⓒKorean Shipowners’ Association

Guidelines for Sulfur Oxide Emissions Available

As the IMO’s sulfur oxide emission regulation has been implemented in full scale, Seoul also published a guideline for the supply and use of marine fuel with sulphur content of no more than 0.50%’ for stakeholders in line with the IMO’s version of industry guidelines for fuel oil with limited sulphur contents.

Stricter Regulation, Shipowners’ Hard Choice

Beginning in 2005, the sulfur oxide regulation has increasingly become more stringent from the 4.5%-sulphur limit in 2005 (1.5% in emission control zone) to the 3.5% in 2012 (0.1% in emission control zone), and to the 0.5% cap in January 2020. As such, shipping companies have been struggling to find the best solution with reliability and cost-efficiency among following options: scrubber installation, a new building order of LNG-propelled ships, and a consumption of low sulfur oil.

Low Sulphur Oil, a Little Concern

In order to brace for the sulphur cap regulation and enforcement, some Korean shipowners tend to rely on low-sulphur oil because obvious effects are expected. On the other hand, others suggest concerns that the use of this new fuel oil with lesser sulphur contents might incur unexpected midium-to long-term impacts on the integrity of engines, which is, in fact, unknown and unproven.

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