Maersk CEO: New sulfur cap could raise shipping's annual fuel bill by $60 billion

(SINGAPORE) — The International Maritime Organization's 0.5 percent sulfur cap on marine fuels could potentially raise annual fuel costs for the shipping industry by up to $60 billion, including by $10 billion for the container sector alone, A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Soren Skou said Thursday in a report by Platts.

Skou said he favored greater use of cleaner fuels in the near term compared to other options such as liquefied natural gas and scrubbers, and also strongly suggested a ban on the movement of ships using higher sulfur fuel oil, or HSFO, without installing scrubbers from 2020. The new global cap will be implemented in 2020.

The shipping industry uses around 280 million metric tons of fuel annually and if the current differential between HSFO and low sulfur fuels persists at around $200 per metric ton, it will be a huge additional expenditure, which can cascade into higher costs of moving goods across the world, Skou said after delivering a lecture in Singapore.

Maersk Line is the world's largest container shipping company by volume.

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By Professional Mariner Staff