With the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5% global sulphur cap less than 18 months away Spliethoff Group has made a major commitment to the installation of seawater scrubbers to be compliant with the new regulation. Scrubbers allow owners to continue to burn 3.5% high sulphur fuel, which at least in the first few years of the regulation is expected to remain significantly cheaper than low sulphur fuels.
The vessel Floragracht became the 24th in the company’s fleet to be fitted with a scrubber and left BLRT shipyard in Klaipeda, Lithuania on 26 June. The company said it plans to install scrubbers on 30 more vessels in its fleet over the “coming period” across its Spliethoff, BigLift Shipping and Sevenstar Yacht Transport brands.
Spliethoff is not a newcomer to using scrubber technology and in 2012 started outfit the six con-ro vessels in its subsidiary Transfennica with exhaust gas cleaning systems.
Then in 2014 – 2015 the company installed scrubbers on Spliethoff’s 14 S-type vessels and also sister-company Wijnne Barends fitted systems on three of their C-type vessels.
“Thanks to scrubbers and with the support of our customers, Spliethoff Group will lower the impact of shipping on the environment and at the same time cope in a cost-efficient way with the cost increase caused by the stricter sulphur regulations”, said Arne Hubregtse, technical director of Spliethoff Group.
With the global 0.5% sulphur cap coming into force on 1 January 2020 there has been a surge in owners deciding to install, particularly on large sized vessels such as very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and capesizes. In the last month Frontline, DHT Holdings, and Star Bulk Carriers have all announced significant scrubber retrofit programmes.