Scrubber interest on the rise. File Image / Pixabay
After a recent surge in orders for Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems (EGCS), indications are that the order slots for January 2020 completion are now almost full, according to Lloyd's Register (LR).
EGCS, more commonly known as scrubbers, will allow vessels to continue burning the same HSFO bunkers they do today after a global 0.50% sulfur cap on marine fuel comes into force from January 1, 2020.
"With the potentially greater price differential between high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) and 0.50% VLSFO by 2020 and short pay-back, ship owners & operators have shown increased interest in installing scrubbers on their vessels," says LR, who predicts there will be about 1000-1500 ships installed with scrubbers by 2020.
But that number is a lot less than expected, with the IMO's original fuel availability study predicting there would be around 3,800 ships featuring the systems.
Tanker owner Frontline, who this week placed an order for 36 scrubbers along with a 20% stake in the manufacturer, Feen Marine Scrubbers Inc, predicted that placing orders for the tech will become difficult as the IMO2020 deadline approaches.