Scrubber Manufacturers Ready for Clean up



The UK-based Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) founded in 2009 with five members, now has almost 20 companies in membership.  The company is dominantly involved in the development, design and design approval and acceptance of exhaust gas cleaning systems.

The reason for growth:

What has galvanised this growth in membership has been IMO’s decision to set a 0.5 percent global sulphur cap by 2020.

Operators that own a vessel and make their own fuel purchases will now be looking anew at scrubber technology.  This point was made by Per Brinchmann of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) in his opening presentation.

“On average more than vessels have spent just 20 percent of their time transiting emission control areas over the last five years.  That is why we have not rushed to adopt scrubber technology.  The payback is a bit slow.  The decision at IMO this autumn may change that.”

WWL operates 135 vessels, burns 1.6 million tonnes of fuels and pays the US$500 million annual fuel bill itself.  “So 1 percent saved on the fuel bill is US$5 million off the bottom line,” said Mr Brinchmann.  “Now the decision has been made about 2020, it may be a relief. Now that we can plan the dockings, we know that when 2020 comes the payback will be reasonably good based on the expected price differentials between low and high sulphur fuels.”

And now is the right time to plan, as the whole process from scrubber selection to design to delivery can take up to 15 months.  First, scrubber options need to be evaluated.  Then competitive bids must be assessed, and repair yard availability for the retrofit must be determined and scheduled.  Purchase orders need to be drawn up and equipment designed.

Having ordered a scrubber, it can take six to eight months to get the scrubber to the yard.  It will take about two weeks to install, but of course, the piping can be installed with a riding crew when the vessel is underway.

Seven years after EGCSA’s foundation, it appears that scrubber manufacturers are poised to clean up.  A key priority for EGCSA and its members will be ensuring that they do not fall prey to what one delegate at the workshop referred to as “the curse of the ballast water treatment convention” – in other words, the entry into force of the sulphur cap being delayed. Delegates at the workshop were told by EGCSA that while differences in technologies between manufacturers are acceptable, the exploitation of those differences in order to push back the 2020 deadline is not.

Highlights of the workshop:

At its workshop held in London at the end of November 2016, some 40 different companies were represented.  And underscoring the organisation’s growth, the first 10 minutes were devoted to five or so new members, one of whom had signed up the night before.

The first day of the workshop programme also saw presentations by Ming Yang of the UK’s national engineering laboratory TUV-NEL, Dorte Kubel of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, independent consultant Mark West, Gustav Krantz of consultancy Trans Oleum and Nils Homburg of Saacke.

The second day of the two-day programme was restricted to members and focused on EGCSA association business.

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Source: Marine Propulsion