The shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk has decided to invest in devices that will curtail the harmful exhaust emissions on its vessels.
Compliance with regulations
This move by Maersk comes ahead of the regulations set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations’ shipping agency, to cap the sulphur content in marine fuels, known as bunkers, at 0.5 percent down from 3.5 percent now.
To combat air pollution onboard its vessels, Maersk has decided to invest in devices that reduce toxic exhaust emissions. Shipowners can meet the new regulations by installing sulphur-stripping exhaust cleaning systems, known as scrubbers, and continue to burn cheaper high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO). The companies could also comply by burning costlier low-sulphur fuels such as marine gasoil, ultra-low-sulphur fuel oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Preparations in full swing
Niels-Henrik Lindegaard, head of Maersk Oil Trading conveyed that the company has started its preparations to invest in new scrubber technology on a limited number of vessels in its fleet of around 750 container vessels. The company is also keen on ensuring that all the vessels in its fleet are ready before the stipulated deadline.
A spate of recent scrubber installation orders led energy researchers to revise their demand forecasts for high-sulphur bunker fuel higher as the scrubbers will let the ships continue to burn HSFO. However, a switch to low-sulphur fuels is still widely seen as the most practical form of compliance given the high investment and operational costs associated with scrubbers and uncertainty around future emissions regulations.
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