DFDS is unlikely to roll out exhaust gas scrubbing systems across its fleet after a spate of problems with a pilot plant installed aboard the ro-ro Ficaria Seaways, formerly Tor Ficaria, has led the Danish shipowner to question the veracity of the technology.
According to Per Marzelius, DFDS director sustainability & environment, while the technology has the potential to meet the stringent sulphur emissions rules, there are still too many reliability issues. He told Shipping World & Shipbuilder that the shipowner could only contemplate investing in the technology if it is 100% reliable.
DFDS installed an exhaust scrubbing system onboard the vessel in 2009 but since then operating costs have increased by 10% and offers only 60% reliability, he said.
Corrosion resulted in the shipowner having to renew some of the vessel's pipework, using composite material, and there has been ‘problems scrubbing down to acceptable limits,’ Marzelius affirmed.
Meanwhile, a report into the financial implications of adopting measures to comply with the looming sulphur emissions directive suggests that scrubbers can be the most cost-efficient option for some vessels operating in ECAs for a ‘reasonable amount of time’.
In the conclusion to a joint industry report, Denmark’s Green Ship of the Future has revealed that a scrubber can potentially be more attractive than converting engines for LNG fuel or using distillate fuel.
However, payback periods are primarily sensitive to time spent in ECAs and the price spread between heavy fuel oil and distillate fuel.