The International Maritime Organizations marine pollution regulations will cut the global fuel sulfur cap for oceangoing vessels to 0.5 percent by weight starting on Jan. 1, 2020 – in just two years. But lube oil formulators should be preparing now for this dramatic change, said Dick Wolpert, marine product line manager with Chevron Oronite, at the ICIS Pan American Base Oils and Lubricants Conference last month.
Marine engine oils face long lead times for product development with extensive engine and field testing, he warned a seminar audience in Jersey City, New Jersey. Lubricant approvals are driven by marine engine manufacturers, and formulations based on existing chemical components typically take two to four years to receive letters of non-objection from OEMs. With new components, this stretches to four to six years.