Report on the 25th International Bunker Conference

The 25th International Bunker Conference 28-30 April 2004 in Bergen, Norway gave the general impression that greater importance is being attached to the potential impact of the EU "Sulphur Directive" on the bunker market than to preparation for, or knowledge of, the forthcoming ratification and enforcement of Annex VI to MARPOL - in particular the statutory responsibilities for the bunker suppliers set out in Regulation 18 of the Annex. The conference concluded, however, that the potential supply of low sulphur bunkers in Europe would most probably fail to meet the likely demand, particularly if the zones for usage were increased in line with the European Parliament's proposals.

INTERTANKO, represented by Dr. Timothy Gunner, attended the conference. Papers presented covered a multitude of issues impacting the bunker market including:

  • An historical review of the developed bunker market
  • A review of the current market, its pricing mechanisms and an insight into the Russian Bunker Market
  • Issues relating to the supply of bunkers with the impact of the new post-Prestige European Union (EU) and International regulations for the carriage of heavy oils.
  • "The sulphur issue" and an update from a market perspective of its impact, including presentations relating to onboard "scrubbing" of exhaust emissions and enforcement procedures in The Netherlands.
  • General environmental issues covering the impact of air pollution on the polar regions, the Wallenius Wilhelmsen low sulphur project and strategy, CO2 emissions and the LNG alternative in practice.
  • Technical issues relating to NOx emission control and the criteria to be considered for the use of ultra low sulphur fuel onboard ships.

Contact: Dr Timothy Gunner