$2 billion Bunker Fuel Market: NIMASA WOO INVESTORS
Parly Stakeholders on a Cleaner, Healthier Marine Environment
Determined to implement and enforce the 0.50% Sulphur Cap emission limit set by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) for ships, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has met with industry stakeholders to ensure availability of marine fuels that comply with the regulation by IMO limiting the sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships to 0.50 per cent m/m (mass by mass).
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting on the issue with modular and other refinery operators and fuel oil suppliers in the country, Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the NIMASA has made deliberate efforts to conform to the new fuel oil mandate, known as IMO 2020.
Represented by the Acting Head, Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department, NIMASA, Mr. Isa Mudi, Jamoh 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 ab initio, 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”.
Calling on investors to key into the business opportunity presented by this IMO regulation, Dr. Jamoh said “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. 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.
JAmoh added that “With the coming into effect of IMO 2020, we assure you as an Agency that the country’s shipping community will be galvanized to ensure availability, supply, and, in fact, self-sufficiency in 0.5 per cent sulphur content fuels in line with the IMO standard.”
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 available and accessible.
The regulation which came into force on January 1, 2020, stipulates a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 per cent in marine fuels globally. The change is driven by the need to reduce air pollution generated in the shipping industry by reducing the Sulphur content of fuels used by ships.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) participated actively during the meeting.
There was as well a large turnout of refinery operators and industry stakeholders at the meeting. They included representatives of Niger Delta Refinery (NDR), Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) and several other operators in the industry.