Many shipping companies are now announcing delays in their scrubber installation plans. File Image / Pixabay
Shipping company International Seaways has become the third tanker operator this week to postpone scrubber installations.
The company has postponed three of its ten planned scrubber installations to coincide with the next dry docking of these vessels in 2021, price reporting agency S&P Global Platts reported Thursday, citing comments by CEO Lois Zabrocky.
The company cited expectations of a strong tanker market in the second and third quarter as its reason for the delay, Platts said.
The move follows announcements by DHT Holdings and Scorpio Tankers on Wednesday that they would postpone five and 19 scrubber installations, respectively.
As well as the current strength in the tanker market, the recent narrow price spreads between high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) and very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) will provide another incentive to delay.
The spread at Rotterdam was just $33.50/mt on Thursday, according to Ship & Bunker pricing, down from $298/mt at the start of the year.