With January 1, 2020 confirmed as the day all vessels must comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s 0.5%S specification, ship owners and suppliers need to begin their planning now to ensure a smooth transition.

Fuel suppliers need to adjust crude diets, segregate lower sulphur streams and prepare logistics to protect the integrity of the different sulphur grades.  Ship owners must develop ship implementation plans to identify fuel grades and quantities needed. Partnering with Shell across these activities now can give customers the opportunity to better understand compatibility, storage, handling, and changeover requirements ahead of implementation.

“Working with our customers as they switch to VLSFO allows us both to build valuable expertise.” said Melissa Williams, Global Sales & Marketing Manager for Marine Fuels. “The partnership gives our customers’ crews and engineers important experience with the fuels and we, as the supplier, are able to develop our operational handling guidelines. This ensures that our customers have all the information they need to transition smoothly come implementation day.”

Grahaeme Henderson, Head of Global Shipping & Maritime at Shell, said: “Alongside our Marine Fuels business, Shell Shipping & Maritime has carried out a successful trial of the new fuel on one of our own vessels, the Silver Carolyn, in Singapore. The experience we gained from this trial and others, helps us be sure that the solutions Shell provides are what our customers and shipowners want. Working together like this, across the business, is central to how we are preparing for implementation and how we are helping our customers to be prepared too.”

Shell has already carried out 19 successful trials of the 0.5% sulphur fuel with shipowners at key ports globally and will be carrying out further trials in New Orleans, Rotterdam, and Singapore. All trials have shown that with the correct preparation, the fuels performed well in the engine, crews were comfortable using them and changeovers between grades did not result in any extra workload for the engine crew.

In addition to new fuel trials, last month Shell announced the launch of Shell Alexia 40, a new two-stroke engine cylinder oil specifically for use with engines running on VLSFO. It will be available in Singapore from 1 June 2019 and other main supply ports from 1 July 2019. The introduction of the new lubricant, alongside Shell’s suite of fuel solutions, provides customers with access to a full range of choices as January 1, 2020 approaches.

If you would like to gain valuable experience in using the new fuels, find your contact person for Marine Bunkers here.

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