A jump in scrubber orders for Alfa Laval and Wartsila reflects a general trend of higher uptake of these systems.
Finland’s Wartsila has received about 20 orders for scrubbers in the last few weeks, bringing its total to 55 scrubbers on 27 ships, according to the company’s Environmental Solutions head Juha Kytola in an interview.
“The market is now very active and we are currently in discussions of projects including all together about 100 scrubbers more,” said Kytola.
Sweden’s Alfa Laval also forecasts “several new orders” in the first half of this year after booking its inaugural scrubber order in December, Chief Executive Officer Lars Renstrom said.
“The interest in scrubbers is high,” stated Renstrom. “We are in dialogue with several ship owners and we have in recent times made a couple of hundred offers.”
One key reason for the uptake in orders is the limited time available before new regulation on sulfur emissions comes into force. From the 1st January 2015, the allowable sulphur content in the fuel of ship that travel in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) will drop to 0.1%, down from the 1% cap that is currently in place. Because installing a scrubber system can take as long as 10 months, ship-owners have a limited time window in which to act.
Alfa Laval estimates that there are around 5,000 ships globally that spend more than 50 percent of their time in waters that will affected by the new sulfur directive. The company claims to be focussing on the up to 2,000 ships that sail through the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Some ship owners may decide to reduce their travel in the Baltic Sea, meaning that scrubber manufacturers will have to wait longer before they can fully benefit.
“Some routes may come under pressure and it could cost capacity at sea and move traffic to land,” said DFDS spokesperson Gert Jakobsen.“There is always the option of not sailing.”
The cost of the Alfa Laval scrubber system, which can handle both seawater and freshwater, ranges between 2-3 million euros.
Wartsila scrubbers cost between 1 -2 million euros for a small vessel and up to 5 million euros for bigger vessels. according to Kytola.
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