All I want for Christmas…
During the final quarter of 2022, my schedule has filled up with representing IBIA at the IMO, at our Annual Convention, other conferences and more. There’s lots of work in progress, so it is great to see one project come to fruition which could make a great stocking filler!
As I write this, the IBIA Annual Convention 2022 can safely be declared a success! I extend huge thanks to our sponsors, the IBIA Board, and my colleagues in the IBIA Secretariat for their valuable contributions and tireless work to help bring us all together in the bunkering and global energy hub, Houston. I believe all who attended had a rewarding time with us, examining major themes that occupies the marine fuels sector these days; chief among them how to deal with the energy transition. For Houston to remain a global leader in energy, and for shipping to play its part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, we need to work as fast as we can to identify the best energy sources and technology solutions to reduce, and ultimately eliminate man-made GHG emissions. We are on a journey that will require committed efforts and cooperation from multiple stakeholders to put us on the right trajectory.
For now, oil-based fuels still dominate global shipping and our sector still faces many of the same problems today as we have for as long as I can remember, such as quality and quantity disputes and a lack of trust between suppliers and buyers. But we are seeing improvements; some through concrete tools such as mass flow meters and other means of tracking and monitoring data. All of this and more was examined during our Convention in Houston against the backdrop of a world that has emerged from the worst ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be plunged into new market volatility following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During Q4, I have been honoured to represent IBIA at several external events too. In October, I spoke at the Argus Fuel Oil and Alternative Marine Fuels US Summit, in November I spoke at a World Shipping Council workshop devoted to low and near-zero GHG fuels, and I am due to speak atS&P Global Barcelona Bunker Fuel Conference on December 1.
There has also been lots of activity at the IMO since the Q3 issue of World Bunkering went to press, and more to come. In September, I attended the 8th session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 8), where we are working on interim guidelines for the safety of ships using un-conventional fuels. This is urgently needed to ensure decarbonisation doesn’t sacrifice the safety of ships and crew. You can find articles from CCC 8 in the news section of the IBIA website.
In November, IBIA took part in the 106th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 106) where regulatory amendments relating to flashpoint were adopted, which I have detailed in a feature in this issue. In addition, MSC 106 had discussions about off-specs bunker fuels and bunker licencing which is available on the IBIA website.
From December 5 to 16, I will once again be at the IMO, first for the 13th session of the Intersessional Working Group on Greenhouse Gases (ISWG-GHG 13) and then the 79th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee. MEPC 79 will continue discussions on GHG, scrubber discharges and black carbon emissions, and is expected to adopt regulatory amendments that will require flashpoint to be recorded on the BDN and confirm a new emission control area (ECA) reducing the sulphur limit to 0.10% in the Mediterranean Sea – among other things.
As you may be aware, in the wake of the serious incident of fuels contamination in Singapore earlier this year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) have set up an International Expert group (IEG) to make recommendations on additional measures to strengthen quality assurance of bunkers delivered in Singapore. IBIA is supporting this work and I am humbled to represent IBIA in the IEG. By the time you read this, we have already had three meetings to work on this highly ambitious project.
All of this keeps me rather busy, which brings me to the point made in my headline. Like all good citizens, what I want for Christmas is peace and goodwill for all on earth, but I fear that is too much to wish for. So, I will settle for something more achievable; a bit more harmony and understanding between bunker suppliers and buyers, which brings me to the aforementioned Christmas stocking filler. IBIA has been working on a project with BIMCO to produce a joint publication, the Shipmaster’s Bunkering Manual, and it is finally out! This practical, hands-on industry guide aims to facilitate smooth and safe bunker deliveries around the world. You will find information about it and where to buy it on this link.
What I also want, as this year draws to a close, is a chance for all of us to spend some time with our friends and loved ones, and to recharge our batteries so we can be refreshed and ready to resume our work in 2023. I wish you a happy holiday season, and see you next year!
Unni Einemo, Director
The above is the Director’s report for the Q4, 2022 issue of World Bunkering, IBIA’s official magazine.
There will be a webinar on January 31 that will give a taster of the contents of this practical, hands-on industry guide. More information on this link.