The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) have hit out at the IMO’s approval the use of scrubbers to comply with 0.5% sulphur cap, and called on more maritime nations to “step up” efforts to have safety concerns about the shift to new low-sulphur fuels in 2020 properly addressed by the UN body.

Stena Bulk has become the latest owner to opt for scrubbers for 2020 sulphur cap compliance with an order for up to 21 units from Shanghai Bluesoul Environmental Technology.

Scorpio Group’s massive about turn on scrubbers to order 146 exhaust gas cleaning units for its tanker and bulker fleets is a “commercial opportunity to burn cheap fuel”, according to the shipowner’s managing director.

Scorpio has confirmed it is fitting 146 scrubbers across vessels in its dry bulk and tanker fleets to comply with the 1 January 2020 IMO global sulphur cap.

Singapore-headquartered tanker owner AET has named its first two LNG dual-fuelled aframaxes.

The popularity of scrubbers as a way to comply with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap has grown rapidly over the last six months with over 1,000 systems ordered in that period, according to classification society DNV GL.

Hapag-Lloyd is the latest major container line to announce a fuel charge to cover the costs of using compliant low sulphur fuel for the 2020 sulphur cap.

Hapag-Lloyd is to convert one of the LNG-ready containerships it acquired in the UASC merger, and fit scrubbers on two vessels as it analyses options apart from low sulphur fuel for complying with the IMO's 2020 sulphur cap.

Seanergy Maritime has urged shipowners to not tacitly accept the cost of scrubbers as it closing on a deal for charterers to pick the bill for installing exhaust gas cleaning systems to its vessels.

Singapore, the world's largest bunkering port, is gearing up for the start of the 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020.

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