Wallenius Wilhelmsen Backs Push on Scrubber Science

Wednesday March 6, 2019

Wallenius Wilhelmsen has joined scrubber advocacy group CSA 2020, saying it wants to help back the push for a better scientific understanding of the technology's pros and cons.

"The implementation of the IMO 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap is supported by the company, but it does represent a significant challenge for the shipping industry, not least from an anticipated hike in fuel costs and potential availability and quality problems," said Roger Strevens, Wallenius Wilhelmsen's Vice President, Global Sustainability.

"To mitigate the risk and costs associated with these challenges, Wallenius Wilhelmsen will use low sulphur fuels on the majority of its fleet and scrubbers on the rest of its vessels. We join the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020, to help ensure the wider industry and its stakeholders have a sound scientific understanding of the operational and environmental performance of scrubbers."

Marine scrubbers have been in use for some 15 years, but the imminent arrival of the global IMO2020 sulfur cap has spurred a surge in the technology's uptake. This renewed interest has also prompted some to question the environmental credentials of scrubbers, with concerns seen to be validated by high-profile bans of open-loop scrubbing by Singapore and Fujairah and calls from Europe for use of the technology to be reviewed.

Scrubber advocate groups including Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) are among those who maintain the science shows scrubbers are not harmful to the marine environment, a stance notably backed last month by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) who told IMO that burning HFO with a scrubber is a better choice than simply burning IMO2020 compliant 0.50%S fuels alone.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is the latest in a number of recent new CSA2020 members, who now counts 35 shipowners among its membership.

"With the addition of these new members to CSA 2020, we can now gather further data on which shipowners, regulators and port authorities can make more informed decisions on how best to comply with the global sulphur cap," said Ian Adams, Executive Director, CSA 2020.