Scrubber installation. Image Credit: Carnival
Over the next five years, shipowners are likely more than $20 billion on scrubbers, according to the Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA).
This is in addition to the 983 vessels that already have scrubber systems installed or on order.
Despite appearing "relatively unsophisticated" EGCSA says the technology is deceptively complex, and as such is introducing a "stamp of quality" expectation for those entering commercial transactions with EGCSA members.
"The technology is still quite new and may appear relatively unsophisticated. In reality dealing with the main propulsion system exhaust is not a trivial undertaking. The implications of incorrect material selection, poor installation, ineffective controls are all areas where the consequences extend from grave to expensive and in some cases a significant human cost," says EGCSA.
"Thus, the ambition to commit to a quality standard will have real value for customers and enable them to make selections in the knowledge that their risks are significantly diminished when contracting with EGCSA members. EGCSA will seek to work with the shipowners’ organisations to establish a satisfactory and practical set of quality criteria that would become the expectation to be met by EGCSA members."
Interest in the systems has increased significantly in response to the upcoming global 0.50% sulfur cap on marine fuel that comes into force from January 1, 2020.
When the new rules come into effect, vessels equipped with scrubbers will be able to continue burning otherwise noncompliant HSFO bunkers.