Tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has announced a major investment in scrubber systems to be installed on sixteen of its vessels before the IMO’s new sulphur emissions cap deadline.
The company says the sixteen exhaust gas cleaning units will be installed on board 10 IMOIIMAXes, 5 Suezmaxes, and one of its standard MR vessels.
The systems represent a total investment of $55 million, including equipment, installation and time out of service. Stena Bulk estimates a payback period of between 1,5 and 2,5 years, which has already been secured by hedging the fuel spread, the company said.
By installing scrubbers on board, the ships to receive the scrubbers will comply with the upcoming IMO sulphur cap regulation, which starting 1 January 2020 will limit the sulphur content in fuel oil used on board vessels to a maximum of 0.50%, from 3.50% currently. As a result of the new regulation, the global shipping fleet is required to either install scrubbers on board or to use a more expensive compliant fuel with the maximum sulphur content of 0.50% (outside Emission Control Areas (ECAs)).
In its statement, Stena expressed concern over fuel availability in making its decision to opt for scrubbers.
“We evaluated the different options and came to the conclusion that for our business by installing scrubbers we will secure greater availability of fuel for our vessels and by so limit our exposure to not finding the right fuel around the world and by that stay flexible in our trading. Even doing so we know it will require some changes and probably massive challenges in the planning logistically. We will however prepare ourselves best possible so that we can secure at least the same level of support to our customers as today”, says Stena Bulk President & CEO Erik Hånell.
Stena Bulk says the scrubbers to be installed are Open-Loop Hybrid Ready with Water Cleaning, which not only removes the sulfur but also particles from the exhaust.
Open loop systems continue to make up the bulk of exhaust gas cleaning system installations despite their use being banned by some ports around the world, including the bunker hub of Singapore and the Port of Fujairah in the UAE.
Stena Bulk controls a fleet of about 107 vessels, according to its website.