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Taiwan announces low-sulphur fuel oil regulations for ships entering its ports

In a bid to remain at the forefront of a changing shipping sector, Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has announced a low-sulphur fuel oil regulation for ships entering its international ports. The new rule, announced on 11 January 2018, will go into effect on 1 January 2019 – exactly a year ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap.

The sulphur cap set by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), will change the current global sulphur limit down from 3.5% to 0.5%. Similarly, the MOTC will require foreign ships entering its international ports and domestic ships sailing on international routes to use a fuel oil with a sulphur content of 0.5% or less.

In an effort to incentivise operators and mitigate negative effects to their OPEX, the MOTC has also pledged a subsidy of TWD 5,000 (USD 172) to all vessels entering Taiwanese ports – if they make the change before the 1 January, 2019 implementation date.

For Total Lubmarine, this is an interesting step forward in what could be a difficult and confusing few years for the shipping sector. Andrew Knox, Asia Pacific General Manager said of the new regulation:

“We are interested to see this proactive approach from Taiwan, as it helps to prepare the shipping community for the inevitable changes that it will have to go through. But, while lower sulphur fuel should be cleaner and less prone to creating corrosive by-products, there are many questions surrounding the actual quality of the fuel available.

That is why, as the industry takes steps to prepare itself for the sulphur cap in 2020, we will continue to research; discovering new ways to encourage effective acid neutralisation, enhanced cleanliness and overall fuel economy for our customers.”

Moving towards the 2020, Total Lubmarine continue to work closely with its customers, OEMs and the wider Total Group to ensure that its services and products are ready for the impending deadline – helping customers choose the right lubricant, to use it most effectively and to see the benefits on their balance sheets.

Total Lubmarine maintains an office in Taipei, staffed with an experienced sales, technical, logistics and customer service teams – and also blends lubricants in Taiwan. For regional customers, this means proximity, reliability and effective customer service.

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