Euronav will use one of its two ultra large crude carriers (ULCC) to store low-sulphur marine fuel ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap regulation. ULCCs can carry up to 400,000 tonnes of fuel oil, and this specific ULCC, 'Oceania', has been off Malta since January 12.
uronav has also hired fuel oil trader and blender Rustin Edwards, who is leading the fuel oil procurement for the company since February, Reuters reported.
Euronav stated that the use of the ULCC is just one of its IMO 2020 initiatives, which aim to give emphasis on the quality and quantity of compliant fuel supply.
The company is among those that oppose to the use of scrubbers. Last October, it stated it has 3 areas of concern when considering scrubber installation on its fleet. These concern the capital investment, the risk of pollution and the implementation and enforcement regime.
It added that open-loop scrubbers (OLS) use seawater brought on board to remove sulphur from exhaust gases, but the wastewater produced has a toxic cocktail of sulphuric acid constituents, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals which then enter into the open ocean, transferring pollution from air to sea.
Specifically, the company had stated that:
"Weak regulatory oversight means non-compliance in the open sea, whether through breakdown or malfeasance, cannot be effectively controlled. Scrubbers are therefore a loop hole which makes enforcement of the sulphur ban extremely complex, difficult to enforce and likely to facilitate non-compliance"
Regarding the capital required to install scrubbers, this technology requires an upfront capital investment with virtually no visibility of a return on capital, Euronav believes. It explained that the 'investment case now has half the returns being promoted', while adding that until the implementation 'nothing suggests this price gap will not further narrow in that time.'