Navin Kumar ,Director, Drewry Maritime Research. Image Credit: Drewry
The future is looking bright for scrubber-equipped tonnage, at least for the earlier part of the next decade, according to the latest analysis by Drewry Maritime Research (Drewry).
While there has been plenty of uncertainly over post-2020 availability of HSFO once the new 0.50% sulfur cap for marine fuel comes into force, and what the price differential will be between high-sulfur and compliant low-sulfur products, Drewry says it is looking like both factors are coming out in favour of those opting for scrubbers.
In terms of demand, Drewry's Director, Drewry Maritime Research, Navin Kumar points to the ongoing bullish forecast for post-2020 HSFO demand from International Energy Agency (IEA).
This is supported by a growing number of scrubber-equipped vessels, with around 11% of the global fleet in Gross Tonne (GT) terms either already equipped with a scrubber or scheduled to be retrofit with one.
It is also larger vessels with higher bunker consumption that are opting to use the technology.
As for pricing, Drewry sees the premium for VLSFO over HSFO in Rotterdam at $235/mt in 2020, falling to $185/mt in 2021, $135/mt in 2022, and $75/mt in 2023.
Overall, Drewry says it expects the average price premium of complaint LSFO over HSFO to be around $240/mt in 2020.
While that means owners who opted for scrubbers from 2020 should see payback within the first two years, Drewry forecasts the financial case for scrubbers will ultimately disappear.