Scrubber shuttle tanker business case

By: Jeroen Berger, July 17, 2017

For many ship owners and shipping companies the worldwide sulphur limit of 0.5% m/m (mass by mass) by 2020 will have a major impact on their business. Within the foreseeable future, the 0.5% m/m global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships will led to sustainable choices. For example, choosing between Marine Gas Oil (MGO), an alternative fuel like Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) with the use of scrubber technology.


Our Norwegian partner Clean Marine has been selected by Samsung Heavy Industries as the supplier of scrubber technology for two shuttle tankers for AET Tankers Pte Ltd. The vessels (both 120,000 DWT) are 275.8 meters in length, 46 meters in width and 15 meters in depth. Clean Marine has delivered the scrubber installations in the first quarter of the year 2015. How does the business case for AET Tankers look like after one year in operation?


Factors that have led to the business case


Important factors that have influenced the purchase decision for AET Tankers to choose for a scrubber, have been: the future price gap between MGO and HFO, the timeframe in the SECA area until 2020 (the sailing profile), the fuel consumption, annual savings and payback period.


The fuel price difference between Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) ranged between 240 and 300 $/ton between January 2014 and February 2015. It is very likely that there will be a significant price difference between the fuels MGO and HFO.


The fuel sulphur limits for fuel used in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) requires the use of fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1% m/m in these regions, or the use of a scrubber that can reduce emissions to an equivalent level, from January, 1st 2015. It is known that one AET shuttle tanker is sailing in the SECA area for 70%, the other ship for 80%.


After calculation the fuel consumption, we see for both AET tankers an annual saving in fuel costs of approximately USD 1.2 million. Based on this information, it is expected that the scrubbers for AET Tankers will have a payback period between 2-3 years.


Why a Clean Marine scrubber?


Clean Marine has developed a scrubber, based on a patented Advanced Vortex Chamber (AVC) principle, which results in efficient separation performances. The scrubbers have also the possibility to serve all exhaust sources onboard (including boilers and auxiliary engines) by one single scrubber unit without a notable back pressure. Furthermore, the concept is provided with a caustic soda injection system, which allows easy operation of sea water with low pH in open loop mode.


Because both shuttle tankers are equipped with two main engines, five auxiliary engines and three boilers and will have a global sailing profile, the choice has fallen on Clean Marine.


Photo: scrubber from Clean Marine


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