Looking beyond the horizon

At AET, we were early to begin our preparations for the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) 2020 0.5% sulphur emissions control requirements, starting when the regulation was still in the discussion phase at International Maritime Organization (IMO). Extensive research and collaboration with industry partners, bunker suppliers, shipyards, customers and peers enabled us to weigh up the benefits and limitations of each of the three primary compliance options. As we began our preparations early, we will meet the IMO’s requirements well in advance of the 01 January 2020 implementation date.

Adapting to meet the IMO’s increasingly stringent environmental regulations has not always been easy. But it has been very worthwhile, with the 2020 challenge now acting as a catalyst for AET in raising our own expectations. This is why we are now working to a target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2050, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 13. We know that we must look much further beyond the horizon if we are to develop truly innovative and sustainable shipping solutions.

To meet the 2020 requirements, we have invested substantially in building LNG dual-fuelled Aframaxes and dynamic positioning shuttle tankers and intend to equip up to 50% of our future petroleum shipping fleet with LNG dual fuel technology in the coming years. The remainder of our fleet will use Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (LSFO) or utilise exhaust gas cleaning systems. While there are still questions around fuel availability, we have worked extensively with our partners to put contingency measures in place and secure supply.

In meeting the 2020 requirements, beginning our preparations early has allowed us to maintain an agile, young and eco-efficient global fleet without detriment to the operational requirements of our customers, or our standards of service. We also found that engaging the right partners, authorities and suppliers – those that shared our willingness to try something ‘out-of-the-box’ was crucial to giving us the momentum we needed to make significant change.

To get ahead of the next hurdle, we need innovative thinking, greater cross-industry collaboration, and a shared appreciation of the fact that the only way to move is forward. We believe this challenge is one that should be relished. 2050 does not present an ultimatum for tanker shipping businesses, it provides an opportunity.