Wärtsilä and Maersk Seek to Solve Scrubbers' Pipe Corrosion Problem

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday September 5, 2022

Engineering firm Wärtsilä and container line AP Moller-Maersk are working together in attempt to solve the pipe corrosion problems associated with scrubbers.

The two companies have developed a solution to the problem of open-loop scrubbers' discharge pipes being corroded by the acidic washwater from the emissions-cleaning systems, they said in an emailed statement. Open-loop systems represent the majority of the estimated 5,000 scrubbers installed in the global fleet so far.

The companies' solution involves a glass-reinforced epoxy pipe being installed inside the original overboard discharge pipe, meaning the washwater will not corrode the original pipe.

Installations of the new pipes will be carried out by Wärtsilä Underwater Services, with installation possible in less than two days in most cases and possible either during scheduled dry dock visits or at sea.

"We have noted corrosion incidents occurring on some scrubber equipped vessels and wanted to be proactive in solving the problem," Jorn Kahle, senior lead specialist at Maersk, said in the statement.

"Additionally, taking a vessel out of service is extremely costly.

"One of the key driving forces for development of this pipe-in-pipe concept with Wärtsilä Underwater Services is to minimise these disruptions and costs.

"We are happy to offer this unique cost-efficient service to any vessel with any make of scrubber."

In 2020 engineering firm Hydrex told Ship & Bunker that scrubber overboard pipe repairs were needed in some cases as little as six months after the systems were first installed.