Home Maritime Ship Pollution: NIMASA Promises Availability of Sulphur Compliant Fuel

Ship Pollution: NIMASA Promises Availability of Sulphur Compliant Fuel

by timenews
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…refinery operators, fuel oil suppliers pledge cooperation with NIMASA
…says Nigeria can become the bunker fuel hub for Sub-Saharan Africa

Pearl Ngwama

To check the challenge of ship pollution, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has assured of its determination to ensure availability of marine fuels that comply with the regulation by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The IMO regulation limits the sulphur in the fuel oil used on board ships to 0.50 per cent m/m (mass by mass).

This is just as refinery operators and fuel oil suppliers have pledged cooperation with NIMASA in achieving this mandate.

Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, stated this on Wednesday in Lagos at the opening of a two-day meeting of the Agency with modular and other refinery operators and fuel oil suppliers in the Country.

Jamoh, who was represented by Acting Head, Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department, NIMASA, Mr. Isa Mudi, said the Agency had made deliberate effort to conform to the new fuel oil mandate, known as IMO 2020.

He said: “As the Country’s shipping Regulator, we have had interfaces with the relevant stakeholders on how to reach a win-win agreement on Nigeria’s compliance with the IMO sulphur content cap. We are happy to announce that the coast is clear for us to achieve this mandate.

“Nigeria has an advantage abinitio, because we produce low sulphur crude. The challenge for us now is conversion of this advantage to availability of bunker fuels that meet the IMO mandate.

“I make bold to say that we have all it takes to be the bunker fuel hub for Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a $2 billion bunker fuel market in Sub-Saharan Africa waiting to be harnessed by our business men and women.”

Jamoh added: “Our refineries are not working at full-capacity, and this is an opportunity for the modular and other private refineries to come in to fill a vital gap in the marine fuel supply chain. Bunker fuel is a critical element in the shipping business.

“With the coming into effect of IMO 2020, we assure you as an Agency that the Country’s shipping community will be galvanised to ensure availability, supply, and, in fact, self-sufficiency in 0.5 per cent sulphur content fuels in line with the IMO standard.”

In their contributions, representatives of the refineries and fuel oil suppliers pledged their cooperation with NIMASA and other relevant government agencies in the attempt to make the required fuel accessible.

The new sulphur oxide emissions cutting regulations mandate a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 per cent in marine fuels globally and the change is driven by the need to reduce air pollution generated in the shipping Industry by reducing the Sulphur content of fuels that ships use.

The regulation came into force on January 1, 2020, marking a significant milestone in efforts to improve air quality, preserve the environment and protect human health.

The IMO 2020 rule limits the sulphur in the fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas to 0.50 per cent m/m, a significant reduction from the previous limit of 3.5 per cent.

Within specifically designated emission control areas, the limits were already stricter (0.10%); this new limit was made compulsory following an amendment to Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Refinery operators and Industry stakeholders at the meeting included representatives of Niger Delta Refinery (NDR), Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), and OPAC Refinery.

The meeting had in attendance representatives of government agencies, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).



Photo caption:

Acting Head, Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department, NIMASA, Mr. Isa Mudi (second right), representing the Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Deputy Director, MEM, NIMASA, Dr. Oma Ofodile (third right); Assistant Director, MEM, Unit Head, Liabilities and Compensation, NIMASA, Mrs. Chinyere Azike (third left); Assistant Manager, Operations, Dangote Oil Refinery Company, Engr. Bessie Nabena (second left); Assistant Director, Head, Climate Change Unit, MEM, Mr. Kabiru Bello (left); and President, Centre for Marine Surveyors Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olaniyan, during a stakeholders meeting with modular refinery operators on availability of 0.5 per cent m/m sulphur compliant bunker fuel in Nigeria, organised by NIMASA in Lagos, Wednesday April 14, 2021

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