How we prepare for IMO2020

International Maritime Organization (IMO) will introduce a new rule in the IMO2020.

Nowadays, where environmental pollution issues are frequently hot topics, it is essential for all industries to use energy efficiently while keeping the environment in mind.

IMO2020 is taking a bigger role in this aspect. In particular, all ships will have the duty to reduce sulfur oxides in fuel oil by 85% from January 1st, 2020. Meaning that the regulation rate of sulfur content in operating ship fuel will be strengthened from the current 3.5% to 0.5%.

What proper options do we have to adapt IMO2020?

In order for ship owners to reduce their sulfur emissions, the following are some practical measures that can be taken.

・Very Low Sulfur Fuel (VLSF)

This is the best solution for the environment. The supply of very low sulfur fuels compliant with the standard is developing significantly and it’s expected to become the leading source.
However, some regions have concerns since supply of compliant fuels might be extremely limited or just not available in their regions.


This is an exhaust gas cleaning device. By removing pollutants from ship exhaust gas, you’re able to utilize the high sulfur fuel. But expensive investment and ship repair are required, and it is also necessary to comply with the wash water disposal regulations of each country.

・Switch to alternative Fuel – LNG – Liquefied Natural Gas and MGO –

You don’t have to worry about sulfur oxide emissions.
The production of liquefied natural gas has started rapidly in the United States, Australia, Russia, and other countries, so the supply is sufficient in these areas at least.
Immediately after the new standard is applied, the high availability of LNG will help regions where VLSF is not available.
The most significant drawback here, is the cost for implementing engines compatible with LNG and MGO or even purchasing new ships that meet the standards.


Although we are now aware of some measures to be taken to regularize against upcoming new standards, it is still advised to monitor and observe the industry.

That’s because even the IMO that published the standard doesn’t know exactly what will happen to the industry or to individual vendors.

At the same time, it is clear that we need an attitude that actively responds to the new rules and full commitment to the cooperation.

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