BRS Group has warned it is possible that shipping could become a last resort for producers of heavy fuel oil (HFO) bunkers.

Chairman Francois Cadiou said in the French shipbroker’s annual review that under the current regulatory regime HFO would always be cheaper than cleaner fuels because it is a toxic residue that is left at the end of the refining process.

“Although the demand for HFO should eventually decline, we could also envisage a future scenario where shipowners will be paid to take a by-product that nobody else wants or can use, something already seen in the recycling industry,” he added.