Oslo, Norway, headquartered Höegh Autoliners has opted to comply with the IMO 2020 global sulfur cap by switching to Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) and Low Sulfur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) and is now preparing its fleet for the change in fuel.
Håkon Kiil, Head of Business Analytics is leading Höegh’s IMO 2020 implementation group and says that Hoegh has started its preparations with tank cleaning as “all tanks need to be compliant before January 1, 2020, and we expect to consume compliant fuel before the deadline.”
With a fleet of 55 vessels, 40 under Höegh’s own operational management, the number of bunker tanks that need to be prepared for compliant fuel is substyantial.
“For us in Höegh, 40 vessels entails over 450 bunker tanks that must be cleaned according to IMO’s guidelines before end of 2019. This is a huge job,” say Geir Frode Abelsen, Head of Technical Operations in Höegh Autoliners, who is responsible for getting the fleet ready for IMO 2020. “Each tank will be cleaned twice according to a set method, before we can be sure that there is no residual from Heavy Sulfur Fuel left in them. This work has already started on board our vessels.”
Preparing for new bunker patterns
In addition to getting the vessels ready for the new fuel, the Bunker department is following developments on where compliant fuel will be made available.
“There is still uncertainty connected to whether smaller bunker ports will have enough compliant fuel as we move in to 2020,” says John Nilsen, Bunker Purchasing Manager. “This is something we expect the refineries to show the shipping industry a solution to, before the new regulations take effect.”
In all Höegh’s commercial departments around the world, work is underway to ensure that customers are ready for the change. “As we approach the end of 2019, we expect all commercial contracts to reflect the new compliant fuel,” Kiil concludes.