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ExxonMobil announces new low-sulphur marine fuels

ExxonMobil has revealed its new range of low-sulphur EMF.5 marine fuels, ready for lower caps on sulphur emissions set down by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which are due to come into force next year.

Luca Volta, a marine fuels venture manager at ExxonMobil, also told S&P Global Platts that availability of the fuels will be expanded to include the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, an important port for transporting cars, by deploying estuary barges. The company had already announced its fuels would be available in a number of other key ports around the world.

In 2020, the IMO’s global sulphur cap will be reduced from 3.5% to 0.5%. To remain compliant, ship operators need to either install scrubbers in their ship to reduce emissions or use compliant low-sulphur fuels. ExxonMobil, the maker of lubricants for Mobil stockists, has already announced new oils, like MobilGard M420, for use with low-sulphur fuels.

Volta also highlighted the need for ship owners to take account of Clause 5 of the ISO 8217:2017 standard for marine fuels, especially given that the introduction of new fuels may have consequences for fuel quality, because simply meeting the specifications in Table 2 of the standard is not in itself enough. This clause demands that fuel:

“…shall be free from any material at a concentration that causes the fuel to be unacceptable for use in accordance with Clause 1 (i.e., material not at a concentration that is harmful to personnel, jeopardizes the safety of the ship, or adversely affects the performance of the machinery).”

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