Maersk has partnered with tank storage operator Royal Vopak to ensure a consistent supply of low-sulphur fuel in 2020 with a new joint bunker supply facility in the Port of Rotterdam.
Located at Vopak Terminal Europoort, the facility will see Maersk blend, store and handle different fuel types to guarantee compliance with IMO’s 0.5 per cent fuel sulphur limit.
The initiative will provide about 20 per cent of Maersk’s global fuel demand – delivering 2.3 megatons of low-sulphur bunkers each year.
As an anchor tenant in the modified facilities, the agreement will enable Maersk, as well as interested third parties, to supply vessels trading with and inside Europe with compliant fuel.
“We trust that this initiative will put to rest some of the concerns the industry has on fuel availability as well as secure our continued competitiveness in the market,” says Niels Henrik Lindegaard, head of Maersk Oil Trading.
The Danish shipping giant has been transparent about its plans to use low sulphur fuels to comply with the 2020 regulation. In its 2017 sustainability report, the company announced that it had decided not to pursue scrubbers as a compliance strategy.
Meanwhile, rival shipping firm CMA CGM has made liquefied natural gas (LNG) a major part of its route to compliance. In November last year, it announced it would equip nine new-build vessels of 22,000 TEU each with engines that burn the virtually sulphur-free fuel.