Danish Ferry operator DFDS, have announced they have invested a total of DKK 400 million (USD $71 million) in new scrubber technology.
The company reported reaching this figure by recently investing DKK 300 million (USD $53 million). This investment will allow them to install eight more ships with scrubbers during 2014 in preparation for the introduction of new environmental regulations on 1 January 2015.
Under these new environmental regulations, ships will only be able to use oil with a maximum of 0.1% sulphur. This oil is significantly more expensive than oil with 1% sulphur, as a result fuel prices will become more expensive pushing sea travel costs up.
CEO Niels Smedegaard of DFDS commented on the company website “Society and shipping companies like DFDS have a common interest in improving the environment, while simultaneously ensuring that sea transport does not become unnecessarily expensive which could lead to shipments being transported on already congested roads. Our common aim is to maintain routes and jobs in the transport network, which help connect the business community. However, sulphur regulations will make sea transport more expensive from 2015 onwards, and this will affect both the shipping companies and their customers.
Not all shipping companies have the opportunity to make the major investment that a scrubber installation requires. In addition, only about half of all ships are suitable for having scrubbers fitted. In reality the much-discussed LNG (liquid natural gas) is only a solution for new ships.”
He added: “Therefore we must quickly find solutions and preferably transition rules for the many ships that are not suitable for scrubber installation, possibly through temporary exemptions, if shipping companies contribute to investments in solutions where possible. Secondly, we have to work together in order to ensure the development of long-term solutions, including clear and appropriate rules for the use of scrubbers and rules that provide companies with a secure basis for deciding on investments. Otherwise, it would be irresponsible for ship-ping companies to make such large investments for the benefit of the environment and infrastructure in Europe,”
In 2008, the company initiated collaboration with Alfa Laval and Man Diesel to test new scrubber technology on the freight vesselFicaria Seaways. Consequently DFDS have been using Alfa Laval’s PureSOX scrubber, a hybrid scrubber combining both seawater and freshwater in the system on a number of vessels.
This year DFDS will complete the installation of new scrubber systems on three other ships, bringing the total number of compliant ships up to twelve. A further ten vessels are also being considered for scrubber technology.
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