MICHAEL JULIANO, TRADEWINDS
But lawyer raises enforcement worries and analysts question whether investors are rewarding shipowners for scrubber investments.
Shipowners at a New York forum described the need to comply with the looming IMO 2020 rule as "solvable" ahead of the 1 January 2020 deadline.
"I think this is a significant disruption but I think this is one shipowners can handle'," Eagle Bulk Shipping chief executive Gary Vogel said
He said burning IMO 2020 compliant fuel is the "default" to follow the pending law, though his New York-listed bulker owner is among shipowners installing exhaust gas scrubbers.
"Is it solvable, yes, but I think there will be considerable disruption," he said.
Vogel was talking as a panelist on a discussion on impacts and solutions regarding the IMO mandate at TradeWinds IMO 2020 Disruption Forum in the New York Yacht Club.
Fednav chief executive Paul Pathy was among panelists who agreed with Vogel, saying it will affect fuel pricing but is a win for Mother Nature.
"It's a positive for the industry and a positive for the environment," he said.
IMO 2020 will require bunker sulphur content to lower to 0.5% by 1 January 2020.
Ridgebury Tankers chief executive Robert Burke said a study to the IMO says scrubbers are needed to absorb the high-sulphur fuel oil availability.
He also said he takes offense to a November 2017 TradeWinds editorial that compared scrubber use to illegal mobile phone hacking from a moral standpoint.
"I think everyone in this room here is trying to do the right thing," he said.
"We're better off with scrubbers."