BRS: Scrubbers "Uneconomic" for Older Vessels

Tuesday November 29, 2016

Barry Rogliano Salles' (BRS') Tanker Department, in a new report, suggests that scrubbers will be an "uneconomic" solution for older vessels to comply with the 0.50 percent global sulfur cap on bunkers, which isĀ set to be implemented from 2020.

As Ship & Bunker has previously reported, BRS estimates that demand for oil-based marine fuel for international navigation will increase from 3.88 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2016 to 3.93 million bpd by 2020.

"These projections are based upon relatively modest expectations for the uptake of scrubbers due to the economics of installing one," explained the report.

"Due to the cost, their economics are complex, but are essentially a factor of operational time versus the spread between fuel oil and marine gasoil," said BRS, noting that scrubber system installation can cost up to $5 million and often requires the vessel to be taken out of service for a short period.

"These economics make them uneconomic to be retro-fitted on older vessels."

Another question mark for scrubbers, BRS notes, is that they will not necessarily enable vessels to meet future legislation.

"There are expectations that IMO legislation will proceed along the same lines as the regulations covering the emissions from terrestrial motor vehicles," said BRS.

"If this were the case, future legislation can be expected to impose limits on pollutants such as nitrous oxide (NOx) and particulate matter and there is little certainty that scrubbers can clean emissions to future compliance levels."

Earlier this month, Ship & Bunker reported that DuPont Clean Technologies (DuPont) suggests that as much as 20 percent of the global fleet could have scrubbers installed by 2025.