TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements

IBIA Annual Convention 2018 - 2018 Nov 12

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Annual Convention 2018, took place on 6-8 November 2018 in Copenhagen.

Mr George Tsavliris participated as speaker in two panels ( IMO 2020 Update and The Leadership Panel).

IBIA aspires to be the voice of the global bunker industry and represents every aspect of the industry value chain from suppliers to buyers, traders, brokers, port authorities, regulators, surveyors, ship owners, barge operators, testing companies and a host of other service providers.

Over 200 attendees, including Ship Owners, Bunker Suppliers, Traders, Port Authorities, Regulators, NGOs, Brokers, Lawyers, Surveyors and Academics, attended the Convention, while a livestream platform took place during the event, creating even greater capacity and awareness around the world.


Lloyd's List article - 8 November 2018

"Danish shipowners address sulphur cap 'myths'

DANISH Shipping has hit back at what it calls persistent "myths" about the safety and availability of compliant fuels ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap, with one prominent Greek salvage operator casting doubt on whether crews can adjust to the new fuel management demands in time.

Danish Shipping executive director Maria Skipper Schwenn said the safety implications emanating from 2020-compliant fuels, many of which have yet to hit the market, are only indirect and boil down to adequate preparation.

"If your planning is poor then your switch [from non-compliant fuels] will cause you problems," she said during the International Bunkering Industry Association convention. "So it is about being prepared and testing your systems."

Influential industry groups such as the Union of Greek Shipowners have raised concerns about compliant fuel safety issues in the run-up to 2020, including the compatibility between different fuels, particularly in cases of blended fuels.

But Ms Skipper Schwenn noted that fuel compatibility has never been a guarantee and is not a new feature.

The International Standardisation Organisation announced earlier in the year that its existing standard of marine fuels, the ISO 8217, covers both 0.1% and 0.5%.

Adherence to ISO specifications does not guarantee fuels will not create problems and the ISO had also noted that it is up to the crew to manage compatibility between different fuels.

Failure to lobby

As various corners of the industry continue to express fears over the sulphur cap, Tsavliris Salvage Group principal George Tsavliris lamented what he deemed to be the slow response of the industry, and in particular Greek shipowners, when the sulphur cap was under consideration.

"They should have complied with much more lobbying, more meeting the regulators and just trying to bridge the gap to see what you want to do and what can be done," he said during the panel discussion.

But Mr Tsavliris also doubted that crews can adapt their technical expertise and know-how to these "rather erratic changes".

He said that according to the UGS, about 240 Greek-controlled vessels have experienced fuel-related issues in the past three to four months.

Ms Skipper Schwenn remarked that if Greek shipowners have faced such problems it only proves that it is crucial to start preparing for the new reality by investing in and training crews to avoid similar problems with the new fuels.

"Because we do not have the same experience among our members," she said.

Mr Tsavliris also claimed to have seen a large increase in engine breakdowns owing to the special sulphur rules in the US west coast. The United States has had a 0.1% sulphur emissions control area since 2015.

"We as a salvage and emergency response contractor, over the last three weeks have been involved with three casualties, by engine breakdown, which were fuel orientated," he said.

But IBIA director Unni Einemo noted that the scale of the problem around the west coast was greater prior to the ECA introduction, when California imposed coastal sulphur emissions rules and there was a period of spiked engine blackouts related to fuel switches, which can be technically complicated.

"As the ships arriving at the California coast got used to this, increasingly the crew had the awareness and I think those incidents dropped off," she said.

ECA zones are often touted as templates for enforcement of the new global cap, though there are concerns as to whether other regions worldwide will be vigilant in implementation.

Danish Maritime Authority special adviser Clea Henrichsen said Denmark, which is also within a 0.1% SECA zone, has recorded a 95% compliance ratio since it came into effect and a 50% decline in sulphur content in the air.

There have been nine violations in 2018 and 30 in total, according to Ms Henrichsen. The country has issued 10 fines, which typically range from 30,000DKr ($4,612) to 75,000DKr.

Denmark will consider, possibly later this year, a proposed law to publish the name of the SECA's gross violators."