IMO2020: Euronav Testing 0.50%S, but Still Open to Using Scrubbers

Wednesday May 1, 2019

Euronav says it has still not ruled out retrofitting scrubbers on its vessels as part of its IMO 2020 compliance plans.

"We never said that we were against scrubbers, but we were against placing such a big amount of CapEx before knowing what the spread is going to be," recently appointed CEO Hugo De Stoop said Tuesday during the Tanker owner's latest earnings call.

Previous CEO Paddy Rodgers, who announced in February he was stepping down, last year emerged as one of the more vocal scrubber skeptics who took issue not only with the perceived economic benefits of scrubbers, believing that the premium for compliant fuel will be much less than scrubber advocates are claiming, but he also questioned the environmental credentials of open loop scrubbers.

"We are going to monitor what's happening towards the last quarter of this year, and then of course, over the course of 2020, if we need to change our strategy we will do that. So we feel that's a much better way of playing the IMO 2020 new regulations than any other way like first spending the capital and then hoping to get a return," said De Stoop.

For now, Euronav continues with its plan to burn compliant low sulfur fuel.

De Stoop said the firm has already bought and tested 0.50%S products which are currently placed on one of its vessels in Malta, and the $42 million of bunker inventory on its balance sheet was related to its IMO 2020 fuel testing and preparations.

"There's a lot of different products there," he said.

* Quotes as transcribed by Seeking Alpha