JIS News

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  • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, has lauded the timeliness of the Second International Caribbean Bunker Conference, hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and the International Bunker Industry Association.
  • Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference on September 10, at the Iberostar Suites Resort in St. James, Mr. Montague said with the implementation of new legislation that will directly affect the sector just over three months away, it is important for the regulators and the industry to ramp up its preparation.
  • “The conference is positioned on the brink of the implementation timeline when ship owners, suppliers, refineries and bunker operators would have been advanced in their preparation to give effect to the regulations” the Minister said.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, has lauded the timeliness of the Second International Caribbean Bunker Conference, hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and the International Bunker Industry Association.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference on September 10, at the Iberostar Suites Resort in St. James, Mr. Montague said with the implementation of new legislation that will directly affect the sector just over three months away, it is important for the regulators and the industry to ramp up its preparation.

“The conference is positioned on the brink of the implementation timeline when ship owners, suppliers, refineries and bunker operators would have been advanced in their preparation to give effect to the regulations” the Minister said.

“Following on the success of the [first] conference held in 2018, it, therefore. provides a global forum for the industry not only to promote their readiness for the new paradigm but also to share challenges and strategies,” he added.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, explained the reason for amendments to the legislation and the impact that the conference is likely to have on the players in the industry.

“For many years, ships have been using what could commonly be called dirty fuel, which is fuel that is heavy in chemicals that are not good for the atmosphere,” he noted.

“As fuel is burnt, it introduces greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. So, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has, over a period of time, been lowering the sulphur content in marine fuel, which, for the last 10 years, has been three point five per cent,” he explained.

Rear Admiral Brady pointed out that this was not sufficient and that in order for ships to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that contribute to global warming, the IMO has regulated the fuel sulphur content down to zero point five per cent. This will become effective on January 1, 2020.

According to the Director General, this means that the processing of heavy fuel will have to go through some more stages in order to remove the high content of sulphur.

“So, we have persons here from all over the world from different areas of the industry who are working towards ensuring compliance with the regulations in all facets,” he said.

For her part, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Director, Unni Einemo, said the participants are “keen to understand how various stakeholders are preparing for the most disruptive regulatory change most of us have ever witnessed”, pointing out that everyone has a role to play to make the transition to the new low-sulphur regime a success.

The Director, who is also the IMO Representative, explained that the IBIA has played an active part at the IMO, as the global shipping regulator works to put in place the framework to ensure consistent implementation of the 0.5 per cent sulphur limit.

“The IBIA’s approach is to seek solutions that are effective, fair and pragmatic in collaboration with other NGOs and IMO member states, such as Jamaica,” she argued.

“We applaud Jamaica for its positive contributions at the IMO. This is exemplified by Rear Admiral Peter Brady, who can always be relied on to bring wisdom and balance to negotiations at the IMO, and by Claudia Grant, the Deputy Director General of the MAJ, who in 2018 was elected Chair of the Subcommittee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) – a proud moment for Jamaica,” Ms. Einemo said.