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Maersk sticks to anti-scrubber stance to meet 2020 sulphur cap

Maersk Line remains against scrubbers as an option to comply with the 0.5% IMO global sulphur cap from 2020 although may invest in “a few”.

While recent months have seen a rush of scrubber retrofit orders, especially from owners of large vessels, Maersk has reiterated that remains against investing in exhaust gas cleaning systems as a way to meet the requirements of 2020 sulphur cap.

Asked in Q2 results call about meeting the capex investments to meet the new regulation AP Moller – Maersk ceo Soren Skou underscored his view that refineries should be supply low sulphur fuel rather than shipowners having to remove sulphur shipboard.

“I don’t think it’s feasible to retrofit ships with LNG propulsion so for us its really about scrubbers. We don’t like solution, I’ve spoken to that many, many times, we think that the sulphur should be taken out of the fuel at the refinery where you have the big process plant to do so and for us to build washing plants to 700 ships simply does not make any sense to me,” Skou stated.

However, he did add: “We are experimenting with various things and may invest in a few scrubbers to understand them better.”

Read more: Meeting the 2020 sulphur cap - Scrubbers ordered or fitted for close to 1,000 vessels: EGCSA

This year has seen a surge in interest in fitting scrubbers by shipowners with close to 1,000 systems ordered by the end of May. Major owners such as Frontline, DHT Holdings, and Star Bulk Carriers have all announced significant scrubber retrofit programmes.

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