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Foreship reports increased scrubber enquiry post IMO 2020

26 Feb 2020

Independent naval architect and marine engineering specialist Foreship on Tuesday (25 February) reported a growing number of owners reviewing their decisions on the best way to meet IMO 2020 emissions restrictions. 

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% sulphur content fuel oils.

While many of the shipowners that implemented scrubbers have reported a relatively smooth transition through IMO 2020, those without are affected by the higher costs of VLSFO’s have been aggravated by concerns that include an unexpected black carbon emission issue, it notes.

“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,” says 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.”

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 per cent of ocean-going freight capacity will employ the machinery, with the number now expected to rise to 20 per cent by 2025

With its team of 15 expert engineers specialised in scrubber consultancy over nine years and a 58-ship reference list spanning six vessel types, Somerkallio says Foreship has played its part in bringing scrubber payback times down to 12–18 months.

He also adds that before IMO 2020 was implemented, though scrubber companies maximised production with creative solutions to meet the deadline, shipowners still needed assurance that the systems had been fully evaluated and optimised, 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 says. 

“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.”

Photo credit: Foreship
Published: 26 February, 2020

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