With the global 0.5 percent sulfur cap on marine fuels coming up in 2020, ExxonMobil is working on new fuels to provide alternatives to MGO and a multi-fuel future.
“We believe that new 0.5 percent fuel formulations will emerge, based on low-sulfur refinery streams, in addition to novel fuel blends,” said Iain White, global marine marketing manager for ExxonMobil, in a prepared statement.
The new fuels will not eliminate the need for scrubbers but provide another alternative, a spokesperson added.
A key implication of the IMO sulfur cap is that vessels can only use high-sulfur heavy fuel oil (HFO), if they are also using an exhaust gas scrubber.
If not using a scrubber, according to ExxonMobil, shipowners’ other options include marine gas oil (MGO), new low-sulfur fuels, fuel blends, premium ECA category fuels or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Each option needs to be assessed by the shipowner, the spokesperson said, based on an evaluation of the vessel type, itinerary, age and powerplant.
LNG is an alternative fuel that will be most likely used in newbuildings, whereas alternative new fuels may be used in the existing fleet.