New IMO 2020 low-sulphur fuel rules are set to seriously reduce the viable working life of older chemical tankers, a new report claims.

Vessels could be sent for recycling five or six years earlier than usual, Eastport Research & Strategy says.

The average age of a chemical tanker at scrapping is 26 years.

Eastport says an investment in scrubbers to comply with IMO regulations would take five to six years to pay back, meaning ships over 20 years of age may not break even and could be torched.