Ship Insight: Scrubber installation delays reported as 2020 looms

Ship Insight: Scrubber installation delays reported as 2020 looms

Shipowners planning to have scrubber installations on existing ships in time for the 1 January deadline may be disappointed recent developments suggest.

Analysts Alphatanker said in its latest report that ‘The past few weeks have seen a number of tonnage owners release statements indicating that their scrubber retrofitting programs were falling behind schedule. Notably, Diamond S Shipping has revealed that scrubbers on 3 of its Suezmaxes will not be fitted until 1Q20, from the original estimate of 4Q19. Meanwhile, a number of non-publicly listed companies have revealed to Alphatanker that certain Chinese yards are running behind schedule due to the longer-than-expected installation time of scrubbers.”

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Open-loop scrubbers remain under scrutiny

Open-loop scrubbers remain under scrutiny

Singapore’s decision to ban the operation of open-loop scrubbers has not gone unnoticed by other regional marine authorities.

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has said that it is working with other coastal bodies over the “potential impacts” on water quality from open-loop units.

“AMSA understands that prohibitions overseas on open-loop scrubber discharges have been applied in select ports and enclosed waters,” a spokesperson for the AMSA said.

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IMO 2020: Scrubber’s financial advantage will last a matter of months, says Lunde

IMO 2020: Scrubber’s financial advantage will last a matter of months, says Lunde

Veteran ship financier Dagfinn Lunde believes any cost saving by using scrubbers + HFO for IMO 2020 compliance will be extremely short lived.

“There might be a very brief financial advantage – ab I mean a matter of months – for bigger ships with scrubbers come January 1, 2020, but rather quickly I feel low sulphur fuel and slow speeding will win the day,” Lunde writes in the latest edition of Maritime CEO.

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Odfjell: Scrubbers Don’t Make Sense for IMO 2020

Odfjell: Scrubbers Don’t Make Sense for IMO 2020

While there are certain scenarios that would make scrubber’s an attractive solution for IMO 2020 compliance, Odfjell SE CEO, Kristian Mørch, believes that overall the technology does not make sense.

Speaking in a Q&A session during the firm’s latest Q2 earnings webcast, Mørch’s views closely mirrored those of Maersk, in that he favoured a land-based solution but his company may still invest in the technology to help understand it.

“It’s something we’ve spent a lot of time analysing and trying to understand. I think fundamentally we have difficulty in seeing why an industry with 60,000 ships should try and solve a problem that actually should be solved ashore,” said Mørch.

“The people that supply in the bunker market will have to adapt whatever regulations goes on in that market.”

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IMO Fuel Regulations 2020: from headache to migraine for ship owners

IMO Fuel Regulations 2020: from headache to migraine for ship owners

BIMCO, the Clean Shipping Coalition, Cruise Lines International Association, Friends of the Earth US, International Chamber of Shipping, International Parcel Tankers’ Association, INTERTANKO, Pacific Environment, World Shipping Council, and WWF Global Arctic Programme have jointly released a statement calling for the prohibition of the carriage of non-compliant fuel when the IMO’s global 0.5 per cent sulphur cap takes effect in 2020.

The IMO says that there is no reason for a ship to be carrying non-compliant fuels unless it has an approved emissions abatement system installed. A debate at the IMO in London is scheduled for February to decide whether to implement the non-compliant carriage prohibition.

Such a prohibition would overturn the current state of regulation issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 which will allow ship owners to use non-compliant fuel oil without an emissions abatement system if no compliant fuel oil is available at a bunkering port. The ship owner may then issue a FONAR or Fuel Oil Non Availability Report. Some in the industry had assumed that the FONAR could be used world-wide on the basis that the oil companies are unable to guarantee the availability of compliant fuel at each and every bunker station.

Presumably the associated worthies undersigning the joint statement wish to ensure a level playing field so that ship owner A cannot undercut ship owner B by using non-compliant cheaper heavy fuel oil on a voyage.

But, unless compliant fuel is available at every port – and bunker suppliers fear it won’t be – the industry has less than two years to decide whether to fit scrubbers and to implement that decision. If an owner does decide to fit scrubbers, then the manufacturer, ship yard and finance all must be identified, the system must be tested and the extracted sulphur must be disposed of at an as yet undetermined location. So far, fewer than one thousand ships world-wide employ scrubbers, out of a global fleet of approximately eighty thousand ships.

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