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Interview with a CEO

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With the New Year and the new IMO Sulphur cap regulations come into force, we interview the CEO of a major shipping company to get their perspective on the future of decarbonisation in the maritime industry.

What is the next big thing that you foresee in the new year- After the 2020 regulations come into force, what do you think will be the next big issue in the market?

In my opinion, the next big thing will be the market-based measures that the IMO and probably Europe will likely impose such as the ETS (Emissions Trading System) in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Both the short and the medium-term measures will be decided by the IMO for the 2030 target including the discussions on possible alternative fuels and the development of LNG as an interim fuel.

From the point of view of the shipowners, they will face the dilemma of what kind of ships they should order and which vessels will best meet the IMO requirements for CO2 reduction.

What kind of fuel will be used in future?

In the interim period, conventional fuel and LNG will be used. In the long-term this remains to be seen.

What fuel will be used 2030-2040, what kind of fuel will you be using?

Most probably LNG will gain momentum as the logistical infrastructure will develop.

What ships will owners be interested in post 2025?

Dual fuel ships

We have heard reports that when the market spiked in October, some owners with ships about to go the yards for scrubber installations, deferred this in order to make the most of the market. Is this something that you have come across?

Yes, it was a rational move after years of low rates. The postponement created disruptions in the yards planning and delays in the completion of the scrubber retrofits.

Regarding the installation of Scrubbers, have you heard anything about how long this is taking and if there are any delays?

In the quotation stage, the time period was very promising and estimated at around 30-35 days. In the implementation stage, the delays were greater and reaching around 40-45 days. Not forgetting the delays in the anchorage due to unavailability of wharf slots.

Do you anticipate any issues with availability of compliant fuel post 1st January 2020?

I don’t expect any availability problems but I can see an opportunity for higher prices.

Decarbonisation- the shipping industry has set a course for zero carbon emissions by 2030, is this achievable?

The decarbonisation goals are very challenging targets and with the existing technology and infrastructure, it is difficult to predict the future. However, it would be a good opportunity for the scientists, engine manufacturers and energy producers to experiment and test new fuels.

It is very early to see the next champion, he must learn to walk first.

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