Ban to Squeeze Single-Hull Tankers


Authorities for the Port of Fujairah in United Arab Emirates have announced plans to prohibit single-hull tankers of less than 600 metric tons after December of this year, according to a local news station. The ban will also apply to offshore activity for vessels such as barges used for lubricant bunkering.

The announcement by Fujairah Port Authority was reported Jan. 29 by Emirates 24/7. The authority is adopting the rule to comply with recommendations by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO), aimed at phasing out single-hull tankers in an effort to prevent marine oil and chemical spills.

The policies are part of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution, which the U.A.E. signed in 2006.

Fujairah is one of the busiest ports in the Persian Gulf and one of the largest bunkering ports in the world, but industry sources said there would be relatively little impact from the new rule, which applies to tankers with dead weight of less than 600 tons. The shipping industry has already largely transitioned to double-hull tankers. One source said only a handful of vessels of under 600 tons still carry base oils in the area, and that those are barges that move lubricants around the gulf.

It has an impact because double-hull tankers cost more than single-hull tankers, so the cost of operation goes up, said Ray Masson, managing director of Pumacrown Ltd., a petroleum products trader and broker based in East Grinstead, U.K. But the reality is that not many vessels of that size and type are still carrying that type of product in that area.

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