Maersk, Vopak to Launch 2020 Fuel Bunkering Facility in Rotterdam
A.P. Moller - Maersk and Royal Vopak have agreed to launch a 0.5 percent sulfur bunkering facility in Rotterdam - a first joint initiative that will cater for around 20 percent of Maersk's global demand.
The new facility, at Vopak Terminal Europoort, will enable A.P. Moller - Maersk to deliver approximately 2.3mt of compliant fuel per year.
As an anchor tenant in the modified facilities, Maersk and other interested third parties will be able to bunker the fuel while trading with and inside Europe.
The project is expected to be completed in the second half year of 2019.
“We trust that this initiative will put to rest some of the concerns the industry has on fuel availability as well as secure our continued competitiveness in the market,” says Niels Henrik Lindegaard, Head of Maersk Oil Trading.
The shipping industry's major trade associations have voiced concerns about fuel availability and earlier this year issued a statement calling on IMO to finalize details of the 2020 sulfur cap rollout, suggesting that port states should take a pragmatic approach to enforcement. While the associations, including BIMCO, ICS, Intercargo, Intertanko and WSC, said that they welcome the sulfur cap and the environmental benefits it will bring, they warned that the rollout will be complex due to the massive number of ships affected and the expected shift in fuel supply requirements. The shipping and refining industries have been aware of the 2020 implementation date for the sulfur cap since 2016. However, despite the long lead time for implementation, the associations suggested that there will likely be technical issues with the rollout. Given the teething difficulties of ensuring an adequate fuel supply, "it will be important for port state control authorities to exercise a pragmatic and realistic approach to enforce compliance" during the initial months of 2020, they stated.