Preparing today’s SOx scrubbers for tomorrow

The appearance of stricter local water discharge regulations for the shipping industry may affect exhaust gas cleaning systems. With the potential for further discharge limits down the road, how can ship owners be sure about the future?

Recent years have seen many changes in environmental legislation. As ship owners invest in new equipment for today’s demands, they might wonder if their investments will still suffice tomorrow. When it comes to exhaust gas cleaning, Alfa Laval PureSOx systems have built-in flexibility that can give them peace of mind.

Ready for stricter demands

It’s not only ship owners who need to prepare for change. Suppliers, too, must be ready to help customers adapt. Having successfully anticipated many changes in marine environmental legislation, Alfa Laval is keeping PureSOx customers a step ahead – no matter what choice they make for the present.

“Many customers are installing open-loop PureSOx systems, which are fully compliant today,” says Erik Haveman, Sales Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning at Alfa Laval. “But there is the possibility of stricter water discharge regulations in the future. By preparing all open-loop deliveries for easy upgrading to a hybrid system, we give PureSOx customers room to adapt if tougher laws appear.”

In other words, today’s open-loop PureSOx systems provide the connections, hardware accommodations and software flexibility needed for an upgrade to a hybrid system, which offers both open-loop and closed-loop modes. The upgrade can be performed without dry docking, and in some cases while the vessel is sailing. By choosing PureSOx, customers make the proactive choice of a future-proof solution, even if they don’t commit to a hybrid system immediately.

Deep expertise in water cleaning

If and when customers do opt for a hybrid upgrade, they can feel confident of success in closed-loop operation. One reason is Alfa Laval’s patented water cleaning unit, which ensures compliant cleaning of the circulation water in closed-loop mode.

“Centrifugal separation is the most reliable method of water cleaning at sea, and it’s been an Alfa Laval core technology for more than 100 years,” says Haveman. “The PureSOx water cleaning unit provides effective particle removal in all conditions, with minimal sludge and the ability to bleed-off circulation water instantly.”

Ten years of hybrid success

Alfa Laval’s hybrid solution is the most proven and reliable available, allowing operators to switch between open-loop and closed-loop operation at the touch of a button. Even the very first PureSOx installation, retrofitted to the DFDS Ficaria Seaways a decade ago, was a hybrid system – and it’s still going strong after thousands of hours of compliant operation.

“Ten years ago, there were many who didn’t think closed-loop scrubbing was even feasible at sea,” Haveman says. “Already then, we were showing that it could be done reliably, and that switching between open-loop and closed-loop modes could be a simple matter. Over time the technology has only improved, and all PureSOx systems we now deliver are either hybrids or capable of being upgraded easily.”

Posted 12 June 2019

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