Major challenges confront Iran shipping fleet

Financial Tribune – Iran’s shipping fleet cannot get services (like bunkering) in international waters and ports from Jan 1 because the vessels have not been able to conform with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new regulations for a 0.5% global sulphur cap for marine fuels, the secretary-general of Iranian Shipowners’ Association said Sunday.

“With less than two days to go before implementation of the global low sulfur regime for bunker fuels, our shipping fleet has not started using very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) because (low sulfur) inventories are low,” Yahya Ziaee was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Several rounds of talks have been held with the Oil Ministry, Ports and Maritime Organization and the Majlis Energy Commission since 2005. Nonetheless, indifference of officials has deprived the fleet from enough standard fuel two days before the new law comes into effect, he complained.

According to the official, Shazand Refinery in the central city of Arak, Markazi Province is the only refinery obliged to produce 500,000 tons of VLSFO a year and this is while Iran’s shipping fleet requires at least 1.5 million tons of the fuel.