Lysaker, Oslo: Several shipping companies are under pressure as we are closing in on IMO 2020. From New Year, shipowners must obtain either Marine Fuel with less than 0,5% Sulphur, or they will have to install an Exhaust Gas Cleaning Scrubber.

It might be too late for those who still have’nt ordered scrubbers.

Clean Marine, headquartered in Lysaker near Oslo, is one of the three Norwegian companies producing scrubber systems. Staffing has increased from 18 to 140 employees since January 2018 to August 2019. Revenue growth beats all records – From EUR 140.000 in 2017 to EUR 150 Million in 2019.

The company was founded by a number of shipping companies in 2010.
-By shipowners, for shipowners, says CEO Nils Høy-Petersen in Clean Marine.

15 years of development

CEO Nils Høy-Petersen in the logistic department of Clean Marine (Foto: Tore Stensvold)

The development of our scrubbers started as early as in 2005. They expected future international requirements of sulphur emissions in the industry. It has taken time, but from 2020 it is a reality.

The market has been a bit slow at times with ups and downs in demand, but is speeding up now.

  • The capacity is almost maximised and the time is running out for those who still haven’t ordered scrubbers, Says Høy-Petersen.

He has been with the company from the beginning, in 2005,  where he started out as a technical director in Torvald Klaveness. They started the development and testing in MAN in Denmark in 2006 together with several other shipowners. Clean Marine AS was founded in 2010 with Høy-Petersen as the CEO.

Health and environment

Shipowner mainly have three fuel options in order to comply with IMO’s sulfur requirements from 1st of January 2020:

  • Åsmund Djupang (left) and Stig Kristiansen are designing new scrubber innstallations (Foto: Tore Stensvold)

    Low Sulfur heavy oil or Marine Diesel

  • High Sulfur heavy oil and Exhaust Gas Cleaning System
  • LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)

The main reason for removing Sulfur from exhaust is to improve air quality.

Vessels burning HFO 3,5% sulfur is releasing tremendous amounts of sulfur dioxide into the air. Sulfur dioxide is harmful for your lungs, and it also contributes to acidic rainfall which can harm agriculture and lakes.

HFO or Heavy fuel Oil is a cheap fuel, and with todays requirements the fuel can contain up to 3,5% sulfur.

By cleaning the exhaust gas with a scrubber down to IMO2020 requirements (0,5% sulfur), vessels can continue to use cheaper HFO, and still be in compliance.

There are three types of scrubbers: Open loop, Closed Loop, and Hybrid. In exhaust scrubbers with “Open Loop” – sulfur dioxide is captured by seawater which is sprayed into the exhaust, the sulfur dioxide then reacts with the seawater and creates sulfites. The wash water which contains sulfite, sulfates og soot particles, is released back into the ocean.

Photo of the scrubber-cyclone delivered and installed by Clean Marine

However, there are high requirements for the wash water that is released, and it must be within certain limits.

In closed loop systems wash water is collected onboard in tanks, and has to be drained at an onshore deposit point. Hybrid can swap between closed loop and open loop.

Installations so far delivered and under order:

  • Open loop: 80%
  • Closed loop: 18%
  • Hybrid: 1,5 %
  • Unknown: 0,5 %

Return of investment of a scrubber installation, a machine where exhaust is sprayed with seawater and washes out sulphur, must be calculated over time with the current fuel spread between the cheaper HFO and the more expensive MGO.

For suppliers, the demand in the market is close tied to the development of fuel prices. Higher fuel spread = Higher demand.

Source: TU Maritim

Full article can be read at Teknisk Ukeblad