Vitol Newbuild LPG Carriers to Feature Exhaust Gas Scrubbers

Friday August 4, 2017

Global energy and commodity trading giant Vitol this week has placed an order for up to eight LPG carriers that will feature exhaust gas scrubbers, local media reports.

The contract, signed on July 30 with South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries and said to be worth up to $600 million, will see an initial two 84,000 cbm capacity vessels delivered in the first half of 2019, and has an option for a further six vessels.

The scrubbers will allow the carriers to continue burning otherwise noncompliant HFO when the 0.50% global sulfur cap for marine fuel comes into force in 2020. 

The vessels are said to feature "advanced energy-saving technology and fuel-saving structures," Korea Business reports.

The news comes at a time of much discussion over how vessels will comply with the lower sulfur cap, and specifically, how may will choose to install scrubbers and continue to burn HFO, and how many will switch to burning compliant distillates.

Stephen George, Chief Economist at energy consultancy KBC, recently told Ship & Bunker that the uncertainty was proving to be particularly problematic for European refiners.