A total of 16 vessels owned by Quantum Pacific Shipping (QPS) and managed by Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), both Singapore-based firms, will be fitted with open loop scrubbers by the end of 2019.
The firms signed a loan facility of up to USD $40 million to finance the purchase and installation of the scrubbers on 15 bulkers and one containership in late November, says QPS.
Out of the 16 scrubbers, 15 orders were placed with ContiOcean Environment Technology Co., Ltd (ContiOcean), a Chinese firm focusing on marine environmental protection engineering), and one order was placed with Kangrim Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, a Korean Scrubber manufacturer, under a turnkey contract with Samkang S&C Co. Ltd.
“A detailed study on scrubber installation was conducted in the 2nd half of 2017, taking into account the impact and benefits to the environment, compliance with IMO 2020, availability of low sulphur fuel, costs analysis etc,” explains QPS.
“Having concluded that there is a high possibility that there will be insufficient low sulphur fuel immediately available on 1st January 2020; a decision was made to invest in scrubbers.
“With closed-loop scrubbers (which store waste in tanks for land-based disposal) presenting issues on waste disposal, the decision by the group was in favour of installing open-loop scrubbers on the fleet where applicable, taking into account the vessels' age, size, trading routes, employment status etc.
“These were jointly discussed by the Technical and Commercial teams in EPS, and endorsed by the EPS Management. An EPS scrubber project team was formed to source and evaluate scrubber manufacturers and installation shipyards as well as to oversee the implementation of the project.”
According to QPS, the release of sulphate from open-loop scrubbers are not harmful to the sea.
“Sulphur in the form of sulphate is the end product of the scrubbing process and is a naturally occurring constituent of seawater and therefore not harmful to the sea,” it explains.
“The oceans are the Earth’s natural reservoir of sulphur and play a key role in the sulphur cycle.
“Sulphur is one of the most common elements and is both biologically necessary and critical to many metabolic processes. Compared with the quantity of sulphate existing in the oceans, the small amounts of sulphate emitted from exhaust gas scrubbing are insignificant and benign.”
The shipping firm further suggests scrubbers to have a slight acidification effect on seawater, only from the wash water discharge point.
“During the desulphurization process within the scrubber, Sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas is absorbed by the seawater spray,” it says.
“Through a series of reactions within the wash-water, the SO2 is converted to an end product of sulphate (SO4), water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). During the scrubbing process, any decrease in the pH of the wash-water is largely neutralized by the natural alkalinity found in seawater.
“This ensures that the pH of the discharged water is in compliance with guidelines established by the IMO. The resulting discharge contains only a slight increase in the natural concentration of sulphate in water.
“Direct measurements on 40 ships monitored by maritime classification societies while the ships were in port have shown that pH levels of Scrubber discharge water revert to ambient seawater pH levels within two to four meters of the discharge point in accordance with the IMO requirement.”
The open loop scrubbers will be installed in the following vessels:
Published: 13 December, 2018
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