Sulphur watch: Supply of ECA compliant MGO improving
Fuel test data show growing share of MGO meeting 0.10% sulphur limit in most regions, especially in Asia.

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Comments on this Article
Sukhy Ubhi - Lubrizol
15th August 2014
Hi Unni, I liked your article. Some questions spring to mind:

• How has the improvement come about and is it sustainable?
• How likely is it that MGO sulphur content will fall further still?
• What was the bio-content of the MGO?
Unni Einemo - The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA)
2nd September 2014
Thanks for your comments and questions. Good questions! I wish I had good responses to them all. I'll try to provide at least some partial answers.
• There has been an improvement in LS MGO availability for some time, driven in large part by the EU regulation requiring ships at berth to use fuel with maximum 0.1% sulphur since 2010. Any ship calling at Europe needs max 0.10% sulphur fuel, and the market has been responding. I think this improvement in availability is sustainable.
• I think it is very likely that availability of low sulphur MGO will improve further, driven by market response to demand for ECA compliant fuel. I think it is also quite likely that we will see the average sulphur content in MGO go down. I've already seen a growing share of MGO testing below 0.05% sulphur. This could be because refineries will mostly not make a distillate that is earmarked for the marine fuels market, which has a higher sulphur limit than distillates for other markets. Fuels for the inland automotive sector (road diesel), domestic heating oils and fuels for inland industrial or agriculture use mostly have a lower sulphur limit. As the marine fuels market will have to source distillates from the same supply pool as these other markets, we will probably see more and more very low sulphur MGO.
• I have not been able to look at the bio-content of the MGO. Of course, with the growing influx of fuels meant for the automotive sector, the risk also grows that we will see fuels with excessive bio-content (FAME) exceeding ISO 8217 specifications. We also have the risk of more MGO that has too low flash point, as automotive fuels have a lower upper flashpoint limit than marine fuels.
Sukhy Ubhi - Lubrizol
8th September 2014
Unni, thanks for getting back to me :-)

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