IMO 2020: Scrubbers Are Nonsense, Says Fredriksen

Wednesday August 29, 2018

With excitement over marine scrubbers having reached fever pitch levels this summer, sky-high expectations for the technology were brought back to earth today by shipping magnate John Fredriksen who has labelled them as "nonsense."

In rare comments made to trade publication TradeWinds, Fredriksen said he thought there would be other, presumably better options for dealing with the upcoming IMO 2020 rule.

The comments will no doubt come as a surprise to those who have been watching the case for scrubbers unfold, with Fredriksen firms Golden Ocean Group and Frontline among the many this summer saying they have invested in the technology.

In the case of Frontline, it has even taken a 20% stake in exhaust gas cleaning system firm Feen Marine Scrubbers Inc. (FMSI).

Until recently there had been decidedly lacklustre interest in the tech, and even after the recent hype the total number of vessels that will have scrubbers in use by 2020 - thought now to be around 2,000 - is considerably short of the 3,800 predicted in IMO's original Fuel Availability Report.

Still, the recent uptick in interest has prompted a rethink on future HSFO demand.

The "IMO 2020" global 0.50% sulfur cap on marine fuel comes into force from January 1, 2020.