Maersk Tankers has decided to invest in four scrubber systems to be installed on selected LR2 vessels in the Maersk Product Tanker fleet before January 2020 to comply with the sulphur regulation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The new IMO regulation states that the current global limit for sulphur content in fuel oil used on board vessels will change from 3.50% to a maximum of 0.50% from January 2020. As a result, from January 1, 2020, the world’s shipping fleet will be required either to have scrubbers installed on board or to use compliant fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% (outside Emission Control Areas (ECAs)).
To comply with the regulation, Maersk Tankers has analysed and evaluated various options, taking into account the long-term financial viability of available options and potential environmental impact.
“We have carried out extensive analyses while also consulting with industry specialists and relevant regulatory bodies. Based on that, installing scrubbers on selected larger-sized product tanker vessels is assessed to be a financially viable solution while combining it with the use of compliant low-sulphur fuel on the majority of the fleet,” said Chief Technical Officer of Maersk Tankers, Tommy Thomassen.
The scrubber systems will be installed on one existing LR2 vessel, as well as three LR2 newbuildings within the Maersk Product Tanker fleet. Installing scrubbers on smaller-sized tanker vessel is not currently deemed financially viable.
According to Thomassen, “Maersk Tankers supports the IMO 2020 sulphur regulation and will implement it as required. However, we also recognise a need for gaining a deeper understanding of the regulation’s overall implication on the global product tanker industry.”
Maersk Tankers states that the company is also ready to handle scrubbers for the vessels that are operated in its commercial pools.