It can be expected that different 0.50% S fuel formulations will be offered on the market, consistent with the assumptions in the CE Delft report that has underpinned the 2016 IMO decision. Indeed, the CE Delft study did not consider any fuel quality constraints other than sulphur and Flash Point. Maintaining an “open specification” for 0.50% sulphur fuels increases the options for refiners to respond to the newly expected market demand.
Availability of different fuel formulations will entail some challenges:
- Fuel stability
- Cold flow properties
Several initiatives are underway to engage and inform stakeholders, and provide general guidance on fuel handling to address potential issues.
IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, and Concawe, the scientific division of the European Petroleum Refiners Association, have engaged with ISO, CIMAC (the International Council on Combustion Engines) and the Energy Institute to support work on development of improved testing methods for stability and compatibility. Furthermore, IPIECA has engaged with stakeholders and plans to hold a number of stakeholder workshops around the world where potential fuel-related issues as well as fuel handling recommendations to address these may be discussed.