On October 27, 2016 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has confirmed that a global sulphur cap of 0.5% m/m (mass/mass) on marine fuels would start on January 1, 2020 under its MARPOL Annex VI regulation. For many shipowners and shipping companies, which are sailing with seagoing vessels from 400 GT (gross tonnage) and above, this worldwide sulphur requirement will result in making choices. Installing a scrubber, or as defined by IMO, an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS), is one of the sustainable solutions to meet the requirements of the IMO regulations to reduce ship-sourced sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions.
What is an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) and how does it work?
An Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) will be placed in the funnel of a seagoing vessel. Herewith the funnel can be described as the smokestack or chimney on a ship used to expel boiler steam and smoke or engine exhaust. By misting of the salty sea water or fresh water the sulphur content will be reduced to the fuel oil sulphur limits. To insure complete effectiveness, caustic soda will be added in many cases.
If we are looking to the different types of scrubbers, we have three variants: the open loop scrubber, closed loop scrubber and hybrid scrubber. Where most of the open loop scrubbers are designed to operate by utilizing seawater, a standard close loop scrubber will make use of fresh water. There are scrubber manufacturers in the market, which has designed a system, the so-called hybrid scrubber, that can work with all kind of water and is able to switch from the open (liquid one time through) and closed (liquid recirculation) mode.
Our Norwegian partner Clean Marine AS is a specialist in hybrid scrubber installations, meaning that this scrubber is able to switch from the open loop and closed loop mode and works with fresh, salt and brackish water. The scrubbers are suitable for new build and retrofit for almost every seagoing ship type from 400 GT and above. By one single Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) all exhaust sources onboard, including boilers can be served. In 2017, Clean Marine has introduced a new series of scrubbers. The CleanSOx Compact Hybrid Allstream scrubber is here in the most compact version. Compared with the previous scrubber, the height is reduced by 66%, the weight by 30% and the costs by 30%.
Rules and regulations regarding to sulphur oxides (SOx)
Besides the worldwide limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) from 1 January 2020, the emission requirements are to be tightened up since 2015. For example, the IMO Annex VI sulphur (SOx) regulation calls for a 0.1% sulfur limit in the so-called Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) by 1 January 2015. As of that date, seagoing vessels operating within any of the four existing SECAs: the Baltic Sea, the North Sea including the English Channel, the North American and the United States Caribbean Sea areas must use fuel oil containing no more than 0.10% m/m (by weight) SOx.
From 1 January 2020, the sulphur requirements will be extended to 0.50% m/m (by weight) to territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from the EU’s 28 member states. The territorial waters currently extend to 12 nautical miles and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to 200 nautical miles from a Member State. This emission regulation runs in parallel with the 1 January 2020 implementation of the global sulphur cap of 0.5% m/m (mass/mass) for fuel oil used in ships.
Is it worth it to install an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS)?
The factors which may affect the purchase decision of choosing an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) of all the available sustainable solutions, are: the future price difference between the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Marine Gas Oil (MGO), the time frame in a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) till 2020, the economic life cycle of the vessel, the return on the investment and the fuel consumption.
Together with our Norwegian partner Clean Marine we are able to investigate the technical and economic feasibility from your scrubber newbuilding or retrofitting project. The outcome of our investigation will show if installing a scrubber is technically possible and economically profitable.
Funding and grants
Besides our specialized knowledge and expertise of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, we are also able to investigate the availability of grants and forms of financing.
One of the forms of financing we would like to bring to your attention, is the Export Credit Norway. When you invest in a scrubber from Clean Marine AS as a retrofit solution, you could take advantage of the loan amount, up to 85% of the contract value. The repayment period is between 5 and 8,5 years per single loans. The interest rate is based on the CIRR-rate or Market based interest rate (IBOR).
With the waste heat recovery system (efficiency PACK) from our German partner Orcan Energy AG, you could make the most compact Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) CO2-neutral. Thanks to the efficiency PACK you have the possibility to generate electricity by using the waste heat from the exhaust gas and cooling water from your main and auxiliary engines. This outcome (active power) can be used for feeding the waste water pumps of the EGCS.
Berger Maritiem has solid relations with expert partners to be able to provide you with a fast and professional service for your Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS). With 24/7 technical support, we are here to help you wherever your vessel is at berth in Europe.
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