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Maersk to install scrubbers on a 'limited number' of vessels

Despite Maersk Line's stance that sulphur should be removed from marine fuel at the refining stage, the Danish shipping giant is going to install scrubbers on a limited number of vessels.

Reuters reported that it would be one of several elements Maersk would use to be compliant with the IMO's 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuels globally from 1 January 2020.

"As part of the preparations we have decided to invest in new scrubber technology on a limited number of vessels in our fleet of around 750 container vessels," Niels-Henrik Lindegaard, head of Maersk Oil Trading told Reuters in an email.

"Using scrubber technology is a small part of – and just one of several elements in – our overall 2020 fuel sourcing strategy to ensure compliance in time," he said.

Maersk ceo Soren Skou reiterated the company's objection to scrubbers as solution to meeting the sulphur cap in its Q2 results briefing last month, but also said it might invest in a few scubbers to understand better how they work.

Read more: Maersk sticks to anti-scrubber stance to meet 2020 sulphur cap

"While we will continue to explore how to best comply with the 2020 sulphur cap, we still believe the best solution remains with compliant fuels from refineries on land," said Lindegaard in the report.

As the deadline looms for global sulphur cap scrubbers have become an increasingly popular option among owners of large vessels where a short pay back time is seen on the cost of investment on the scrubber and the potential price spread between high sulphur fuel oil and low sulphur fuels come 2020.

Earlier this week New York-listed Safe Bulkers became the latest owner to make major investment in scrubbers announcing that it was fitting them to half its fleet.

Read more: Safe Bulkers to install Alfa Laval scrubbers on half its fleet

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