Box ships: cheaper fuel. File Image / Pixabay.
While nearly a quarter of the global box ship fleet has scrubber equipment installed, the take up of the emissions abatement equipment has fallen since its March peak, the latest analysis shows.
Data from container shipping analyst Alphaliner recorded 465 container ship retrofits and 105 installations on newbuildings making the scrubber-fitted fleet 23.5% of containerships in service in terms of capacity.
The spread the price of high and low sulfur fuel oil -- the main incentive behind ship operators adoption of the technology -- has narrowed significantly.
"While pre-Covid-19 spreads of $150-200 potentially offered a payback period of one to two years, spreads in the $50-60 per ton range now offer a stretch of four or five years until full payoff," the analyst said.
However, the fall in the level of bunker price has benefitted shipping across the board with the heavy fuel oil bunkered by scrubber-equipped ships down by around a third on the back of Covid-19 depressed demand.