Foreship Witnesses A Surge in Scrubber Enquiries

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  • Foreship reports there has been an increasing number of enquiries on how scrubbers can be equipped at short notice.
  • Due to 2020 sulphur cap, companies that have opted scrubbers have a relatively smooth transition. On the other hand, the
  • Higher costs of VLSFOs are related to unexpected black carbon emission issue.
  • Uncertainty surrounding low-sulphur fuel oils is causing owners to reconsider their options.
  • 3,756 vessels have exhaust gas scrubbers either installed or on order.
  • 15% of ocean-going freight capacity have scrubbers and it is expected to rise to 20% by 2025.

According to an article published in ShipInsight and Safety4sea, Foreship reports a growing number of owners are reviewing their decisions on the best way to meet IMO 2020 emissions restrictions.

Surge in enquiries

The consultancy says it has seen an unprecedented surge of enquiries on how exhaust gas cleaning systems can be fitted at short notice, following emerging market misgivings over the quality and availability of 0.5 per cent sulphur content fuel oils.

After entry into force of the new rules limiting fuel sulphur content on 1 January, many of the shipowners that implemented scrubbers have reported a relatively smooth transition through IMO 2020 rule changes. Conversely, the higher costs of very low sulphur fuel oils (VLSFOs) have been aggravated by concerns that include an unexpected black carbon emission issue.

Caught off guard

The realities of IMO 2020 have caught many off guard, with some in the market quickly shifting from contemplating whether a switch to scrubbers was advantageous to considering how soon they can practically do so, said Foreship EGCS Project Lead Olli Somerkallio.Uncertainty surrounding low-sulphur fuel oils is causing owners to reconsider whether they made the right choice on scrubbers, with fresh enquiries on equipment evaluation and installation arriving almost daily.

  • The latest figures from consultancy CRU indicate that 3,756 vessels have exhaust gas scrubbers either installed or on order.
  • By the end of 2020, up to 15% of ocean-going freight capacity will employ the machinery, with the number now expected to rise to 20% by 2025.

Reduction in installation times

Having built an expert team of 15 engineers specialized in scrubber consultancy over nine years and a 58-ship reference list spanning six vessel types, Somerkallio said Foreship has played its part in bringing scrubber payback times down to 12–18 months. He adds that, in the run-up to the 1 January 20-20 deadline, equipment suppliers worked hard to reduce installation times, with a number of ro-ro freight vessel, tanker and bulker projects involving scrubbers installed as pre-outfitted modules to minimize works onboard. Nevertheless, shipowners still need assurance that the systems have been fully evaluated and optimized, whatever the time pressures.

We understand that this is a difficult moment for ship operators who have followed the rules only to find themselves at a competitive disadvantage, he said. While VLSFOs may well be costing more day-to-day, the scrubber is still a multi-million-dollar item whose evaluation, selection and installation will benefit from advice that is independent of the supplier and the shipyard.

Foreship also added that, in the run-up to the 1 January deadline, equipment suppliers managed to reduce installation times, with several Ro-Ro freight vessel, tanker and bulker projects involving scrubbers installed as pre-outfitted modules to minimize works onboard.

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Source: ShipInsight & Safety4sea

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