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Ships stuck waiting for fuel at Asia hub on rule-shift snarl

Ship owners are waiting longer and paying more to refuel at the Asian hub of Singapore as the industry scrambles to prepare for the implementation of new ship-fuel rules in just a few weeks.

The photo is from 2010 and does not show the ships currently waiting off Singapore. | Photo: Vivek Prakash/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The availability of refueling barges has dwindled as their tanks are scoured so that they will be able to carry cleaner-burning fuels compliant with the new rules, known as IMO 2020, that take effect Jan. 1.

It’s taking about two weeks to book a barge instead of the usual five days, according to shipping companies and brokers who didn’t want to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.

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