Taiwan’s state-owned refining group CPC Corporation has begun offering low-sulphur fuel oil, with sulphur content of 0.5% at Taiwanese ports.
The Taiwanese government, through the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, had announced that such bunkers would be available at least a year before the International Maritime Organization (IMO) implements its global sulphur cap in 2020.
Until the end of this year, a TWD5,000 (USD172) subsidy will be offered to all ships that use low-sulphur fuel oil when calling at Taiwanese ports.
Ships must produce a log showing the type of bunkers consumed, bunker delivery notes, and a record of the last 10 ports of call.
However, ships installed with scrubbers, which remove sulphur dioxide and other unwanted chemicals from emissions, do not qualify for the subsidy.
The availability of low-sulphur fuel oil is one of the challenges in becoming compliant with the IMO’s global sulphur cap, which will restrict sulphur content in marine fuels to 0.5%.
Refineries with advanced technologies would be able to produce low-sulphur fuel oil at the lowest possible costs, although many would require some upgrades that involve hydrogen injections to reduce the sulphur content.