International guidance to help reduce emissions from shipping has been published. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set a target of January 2020 for the implementation of a new policy that limits the sulfur content of maritime fuel to 0.50 percent.
Industry watchers say this is a no mean feat when the current maximum is 3.50 percent and high-sulfur fuel has been the norm for many years.
ISO/PAS 23263, Petroleum products – Fuels (class F) – Considerations for fuel suppliers and users regarding marine fuel quality in view of the implementation of maximum 0.50 % sulfur in 2020, defines the requirements of such fuels and other technical considerations which apply to the range of marine fuels that will emerge on the market.
The Publicly Available Specification (PAS) will help all organisations that use marine fuel make the transition before the 2020 deadline and provide guidance on the application of existing specifications as outlined in ISO 8217, Petroleum products – Fuels (class F) – Specifications of marine fuels.
Chair of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) expert group that developed ISO/PAS 23263, Nicolas Rouquette, said it comes at the request of the IMO in order to ensure consistency with existing standards and the implementation of the new regulation.
ISO is however, an independent, non-governmental international organisation with a membership of 164 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.
According to Rouquette, ‘’this document will help both suppliers in the development of suitable marine fuels and users in making the change and will enable a smooth transition to 0.50 % sulfur fuels by the deadline.’’
ISO/PAS 23263 covers such technical aspects as kinematic viscosity, cold flow properties, stability and compatibility of fuels.
The PAS was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 28, Petroleum and related products, fuels and lubricants from natural or synthetic sources, subcommittee SC 4, Classifications and specifications. The secretariat of this subcommittee is held by AFNOR, ISO’s member for France.