Amidst the fear that the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reduction of Sulphur emission to 0.5% may lead to an increase in freight rate, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Barrister Temisan Omatseye, has described Nigerian crude as the best in the whole world, with a very little gas emission which will meet the requirements of the IMO.
This is even as the Nigerian maritime practitioners including the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Nigerian Indigenous Ship-Owners Association (NISA) have lauded the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the implementation of the green house emission of 0.5% Sulphur.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that the apex global maritime regulatory body (IMO) had a few years ago raised alarm over what it described as high Sulphur emission, it added that Sulphur will be cut drastically from global shipping transport fuels in 2020.
According to reports, from 1 January 2020, ships will only be allowed to use fuel oil with a very low Sulphur content, under rules brought in by the IMO. This cut in Sulphur content has been more than a decade in the planning, and almost all shipping around the world is expected to comply, or face penalties.
Reacting to this, Omatseye reiterated that Nigeria has the ability to meet the demand of the IMO by the virtue of the quality of crude oil the country produces.
He charged the relevant government agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to take advantage of the policy to ensure that Nigerian crude oil are produced as bunkers.
“The NNPC, NIMASA and National Petroleum Company are not taking advantage of this, they should collaborate on how to put together its energy towards Nigerian crude oil being produced as bunkers and providing enough bunkers to be used. So Nigeria has the ability to meet the demand of the IMO by the virtue of the quality of our crude but they are not talking to see how they can make this reality”
“In the first instance, the 0.5% Sulphur is good for the green house emission because it shows commitment from IMO to the reduction of the climate change. But in addition to that, for Nigeria, I belief it is something we should take advantage of because as a country our crude oil is very sweet and our Sulphur content is so low, as a matter of fact the Sulphur content in the Nigerian crude oil meets the IMO requirement of 0.5%”
The lawyer lamented the non-functionality of the refineries saying that it is appalling after producing the best crude oil in the whole world, it will be exported only to import the one with high Sulphur content.
“As you are aware, our refineries are not working and we are shipping out a lot of our crude oil, but unfortunately importing back petroleum products that have Sulphur contents, because if our refineries are working, what we should be doing is to be taking our own crude oil to process them in the refineries and bring them back. So how can you be producing the best crude oil in the world and still your emissions are high because you are importing other people’s high Sulphur crude oil into your country. So this is the challenge that I have, but like I said it is a good thing”, he said.
Also speaking, the president of NAMM, Captain Tajudeen Alao in a separate chat, described the policy as a move in the right direction, adding that it is very comfortable and will also make the environment very sustainable.
He explained that ships are now being issued with energy efficiency certificates and as well as scrubber’s installation are compulsory on new ships.
“Yes it has come into force and ships are being issued with energy efficiency certificate as well.
Installation of scrubbers on new build is compulsory and classification societies surveyors and flag officials are enforcing compliance”
Also, a member of NISA, Captain Taiwo Akinpelumi said that the ship owners have been working towards ensuring the directive is implemented to the later since last year.
“Every ship owner have been working towards that, later last year till early this year ship owners have been, in fact the cost of vessels, fuel and vessels owners budget are enormous, it’s been a work in progress, it’s not what can be achieve one day it’s a gradual process, ship owners are positioning themselves to meet with IMO standards” he concluded.