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MPC Container Ships lines up major scrubber commitment

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Feeder vessel owner MPC Container Ships has lined up a major potential scrubber orders for the majority of its fleet.

Oslo-listed MPC has inked an order for five scrubber retrofits with an undisclosed manufacturer and options for up 50 more scrubbers.

MPC owns a fleet of 68 feeder containerships between 1,000 teu – 3,000 teu in capacity and said it sees significant interest from charterers for scrubber-fitted vessels and is in well-advanced negotiations with charterers for mid- to longer-term charter parties at favourable rates.

The 50 options would be for installations in 2019 and early 2020. Fitting scrubbers will allow owners and charterers to meet the demands the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap from 1 January 2020 while still burning high sulphur fuel oil, which looks set to be significantly lower cost than compliant low sulphur fuels or marine gas oil. Charters that pay for bunker fuel as part of the charter would stand to make significant cost savings by hiring a vessel fitted with a scrubber.

Read more: Scrubber numbers surge to 1,850 - 'decision to invest should be made yesterday'

"Having conducted thorough analyses on the subject, we are excited about the opportunity to retrofit selected vessels with scrubbers as an economically attractive alternative of complying with the 2020 sulphur regulations,” said Constantin Baack, ceo of MPC.

“Moreover, the option to equip a larger portion of our fleet with scrubbers gives MPC Container Ships the strategic flexibility to adapt to new market environments as we deem fit."

MPC said the scrubbers would be financed from cash on hand and existing debt.

There has been a huge surge in scrubber orders this year particularly from owners of larger tonnage.

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