IMO 2020: Dramatic Rise in Scrubber Interest

Monday June 11, 2018

Much to the bemusement of industry analysts, to date the adoption of exhaust gas cleaning systems as an IMO 2020 compliance solution has fallen short of official projections.

But the are signs that this is all about to change, with DNV GL observing Friday that interest in installing scrubbers and other emission reductions systems has risen "dramatically" in recent months.

In May 2018, the total number of vessels either ordered or installed with scrubbers stood at 817, representing a jump of nearly 300 vessels - a rise of well over 50% - in the space of only a few months, according to DNV GL numbers.

"This increase is due to several factors, but the trend is clear," says Stine Mundal, Head of Section for Environmental Certification at DNV GL – Maritime.

"At the same time, we are seeing that bulk and container vessels are the segments with the most installations, overtaking cruise vessels which had been the early adopters. This indicates that owners are making their solution decisions now and many are choosing scrubbers to comply with emissions restrictions."

DNV GL are not the only firm to note the upswing.

"In the marine market, we have witnessed momentum building on the implementation of exhaust gas cleaning systems (or "scrubbers") across all major segments, now including tankers, bulkers and container ships, in addition to the cruise and ferry markets where there has historically been a significant installed base," emulsion bunker fuel manufacturer Quadrise said last week.

DVB Bank last week was also upbeat on the technology, saying it believes "the market will be surprised how many investments we will see in scrubbers."

In May Dr. R. Vis predicted there would be an eventual rush by shipowners to order scrubbers akin to a stampede of Wildebeest in the Serengeti.