U.S. refineries are among the most technologically advanced and efficient in the world and have invested more than $100 billion in recent years to produce cleaner fuels. Refiners are well-prepared for a January 2020 change in global shipping standards, which will reduce the allowable sulfur content in fuel for marine vessels from three percent to 3.5 percent.
When this new standard, commonly known as the International Maritime Organization 2020 Sulfur Standard (IMO 2020), goes into effect, U.S. refiners will be ready to meet the high demand for low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO). U.S. refiners’ preparations for the new standard and their ability to efficiently process IMO-compliant fuel means that any cost impacts of IMO 2020 are likely to be short-lived and minimal.
AFPM supports the on-time implementation of IMO 2020. Any action to delay enforcement of the standard will not mitigate potential cost impacts, but instead sends signals of uncertainty to the market that could harm the U.S. economy.