Transportation and fuels: looking ahead at the future of marine fuels

15 May 2014

The global marine fuel market is generally accepted to be about 250 million tonnes per annum (pa). Today’s marine fuel would be recognisable to those who bought, sold and used marine fuels for the past 70 years, except for new requirements a few years from now to reduce sulphur content. The storage and delivery logistics are fundamentally the same, and the worries, concerns and attitudes of the users are unchanged (chief engineers have always complained about poor quality fuel). Most of today’s market is for residual fuel categorised as ISO grade RMG380. Almost all oceangoing ships over 5,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) use this product as their main fuel grade. An increasing number of larger ships are now using heavier, more viscous fuels such as the RMK grade, that are proving to be more economic.