Scrubbers Do Not Address ‘Core Problem’


Scrubbers are a short-term solution that does not address the core issue: the fuel itself, TOTE executive vice president Peter Keller told Container Shipping & Trade in an exclusive interview.

US container ship operator TOTE is helping to drive the way forward for the container shipping industry to use LNG as fuel. Its two 233m Marlin-class vessels are the world’s first container ships to operate on LNG and it is converting two roro ships to run on the fuel.

Mr Keller told CST that it chose to power the new vessels with LNG because of new IMO global sulphur emission requirements that come into force in 2020. “It was also about doing what is right and doing what our customers asked of us,” he added, saying that increasing numbers of exporters and importers were keen for their ocean carriers to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Explaining why TOTE plumped for LNG and not scrubbers, he said that LNG addressed the “core problem”: the fuel itself. “Scrubbers are a viable short-term solution for certain applications but they do not address the core issue.” He pointed out that scrubbers only scrub the fuel, but the sulphur, particulate matter and nitrous oxides must then be disposed of.

TOTE is a member of multi-sector industry coalition SEA\LNG, which Mr Keller chairs, created to accelerate LNG’s adoption as marine fuel. “We have essentially doubled our membership since establishing the organisation in 2016 and we are working on a number of interesting projects that will continue to focus on the long-term benefits of LNG as a maritime fuel of choice,” Mr Keller commented.

Asked about whether he believed that LNG use would increase among container ship operators, Mr Keller again highlighted the 2020 low sulphur regulations and the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure as key drivers. With these factors to consider, “we believe more shipowners will opt for dual-fuel LNG technology. It addresses the core issue of fuel quality.”

In his opinion, LNG is the “preferred maritime fuel for the next 30-40 years”.

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Source: LNG World Shipping