SEA\LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition aiming at accelerating the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel, has voiced its support for the carriage ban on non-compliant fuels proposed by the IMO when the 0.5% sulfur fuel limit comes into force in January 2020.

The International Maritime Organisation’s IMO sub-committee on pollution prevention and response (PPR) has agreed draft amendments to the MARPOL Convention on the prevention of pollution from ships MARPOL Annex VI), prohibiting the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for use on board that exceeds the 0.5 per centsulfur limit due to come into effect on January 1, 2020.

However, this carriage ban does not apply to ships with an approved “equivalent arrangement” to meet the sulfur limit – such as an exhaust gas cleaning system EGCS or so-called scrubber.

“We urge formal approval of this proposal at MEPC 72 in April to ensure early adoption at MEPC 73 (in October). This will allow the shipping industry to work with the IMO, flag, and port state authorities to develop robust and consistent enforcement processes in a timely manner,” Peter Keller, SEA\LNG chairman and executive vice president at Tote, said.

“A carriage ban, as proposed, will provide greater certainty to shipping lines considering new build and retrofit investment options for compliant marine fuelling solutions such as LNG. It lessens the chances of these investments being undercut by less scrupulous operators looking to burn non-compliant fuels. It will also send a strong message to suppliers, urging them to make the necessary investments in plants and infrastructure to deliver compliant marine fuels,” Keller continued.

A coalition of 31 members, SEA\LNG has a vision of a global LNG value chain for cleaner maritime shipping by 2020.