Sulphur cap by 2020 triggers flurry of scrubber orders for containerships
Sept.3--THE number of orders for scrubbers has risen dramatically as containership owners scramble to meet the requirements of the 0.5 per cent sulphur cap that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will introduce in 2020.

According to analyst Alphaliner, the number of containerships with installed scrubbers will surge to 193 by 2020 when the sulphur cap for marine fuel comes into force, up from 25 containerships at present. The majority of cases will involve retrofits to existing vessels and 33 scrubbers will be installed on newbuilds, reported Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.

"Despite investment costs of US$5 million to $10 million per ship, the relatively short payback period for a scrubber system has proven sufficiently attractive for some owners to jump in," Alphaliner said.

Scrubbers have proved of particular interest to owners of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) in the tanker sector, capesize bulkers and ultra-large containerships given the relative cost of the exhaust cleaning units and the potential savings from the price spread between high sulphur and low sulphur marine fuels come 2020.

However, the number of containerships fitted with scrubbers by January 1 2020 will represent just a fraction of the 5,300 box ships in service.

"The vast majority of these will still need to switch to low sulphur fuel, with operators facing higher fuel bills as a result," Alphaliner added.
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