UCL Energy Institute


UCL-Energy wins new study for the IMO on the availability of low sulphur fuels for shipping

1 October 2015


The consulting arm of UCL Energy Institute’s (UCL-Energy) Shipping Group (UMAS), along with a consortium of partners led by CE Delft, has won a study to inform the International Maritime Organisation (IMO’s) decision on whether to implement a global cap on sulphur in 2020 or postpone to 2025.

The study, which UCL-Energy and CE Delft will work on alongside Stratas Advisors and Ocean Policy Research Institute, will conduct an assessment of the availability of fuel oil with a sulphur content of 0.5% m/m or less by 2020. 

Dr Tristan Smith, Lecturer at UCL-Energy said: ‘Besides continuing our presence at the IMO, this study is particularly good news because it links UCL-Energy’s models about shipping to detailed data and modelling about the fuel supply side, such as refineries. We look forward to beginning the project with our partners.’ 

The demand for, and supply of, compliant fuel oil in 2020 will be studied, and UCL-Energy’s Shipping Group will deploy GloTraM (Global Transport Model)which was developed by UCL-Energy through a programme of UK Government and industry funded research starting in 2010 and totalling in excess of £2m. The GloTraM model was referred to by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee as a desirable source of input to this study and described by Lloyd’s Register in 2014 as ‘…The most sophisticated scenario planning model that exists for global shipping’. 

The study will also attempt to characterise the baseline year energy demand and fuel mix. 

The project begins in late September/early October 2015 and will run for about six months until Spring 2016, with outputs in the public domain next autumn. 


Photo credit: wikimediaImages pixabay.com CC0 public domain