Abu Dhabi: Uniper Energy yesterday revealed that it had loaded the largest-ever cargo of low sulphur fuel oil for delivery to Asian customers in Fujairah earlier this month ahead of the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 rule compelling all shipowners to reduce the sulphur content of their bunker fuel.

The tanker with 154,411 metric tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil is now en route to Singapore, the firm said, adding they also commenced loading 80,000 metric tonnes set for Europe, making it a busy month for low sulphur fuel oil shipments.

“Stakeholders in the bunkering supply chain — refineries, ports, traders, shippers and more — are nearing a cliff of major change that they must adapt to quickly,” Chris Wood, managing director of Uniper Energy DMCC, said in a statement.

Uniper Energy is part of the international energy company Uniper with offices in Dubai. It owns and operates two crude processing units strategically located at the Port of Fujairah, the world’s second-biggest bunkering hub.

Uniper Energy’s crude units annually produce more than 3 million tons of ultra low sulphur fuel oil playing a crucial role in achieving the IMO targets to limit sulphur in ships fuels to 0.5 per cent from today’s 3.5 per cent, from January 1, 2020.

Uniper Energy trades with more than 200 counterparties, both private and state-owned entities, including national oil companies (NOCs).

The latest development is expected to boost Fujairah’s position as a world-scale storage and bunkering centre alongside Rotterdam and Singapore. The emirate, strategically located on Arabian coast is also set to benefit in the next few years from companies’ plans to expand crude and petroleum product facilities to avail of the state-of-the-art physical infrastructure on offer.