Goltens Dubai sponsored a knowledge sharing session by Yara Marine Technologies, the only exhaust gas emission control company that offers a complete SOx and NOx product portfolio to the marine industry, at the IMarEST UAE branch meeting. Upcoming IMO regulations limit the maximum amount of Sulphur content to 0.5% from the current 3.5%, compelling ships without scrubbers to burn emission-complaint fuels.
Nikeel Idnani (Honorary Secretary, IMarEST UAE Branch) in the articulate introductory talk, unveiled IMO’s decision to introduce a global Sulphur cap. This means that shipping companies will have to explore fuel options or abatement technologies. While admitting that Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems are surging in popularity as the 2020 Sulphur cap deadline looms, he questioned if Scrubbers will be a long-term solution for managing shipping’s environmental footprint or just a short-term fix.
In the informative keynote presentation - Installation of Scrubbers to meet 2020 Sulphur Cap, the 145 delegates, from all sectors of the industry, benefitted from Benjamin Pettersson’s (Technical Sales Engineer, YARA Marine Technologies) updates and technical insights. Starting with a review on the legislation changes in MARPOL Annex VI, he gave a brief overview of the options open to ship owners, outlined the technology behind scrubbers and gave a review of the Yara Inline wet scrubber systems. Benjamin succinctly mentioned that installing a SOx scrubber is the most economical and efficient way to achieve full compliance with both current and future emission regulations from the IMO.
Yara Marine Technologies, positioned at the vanguard of sustainable technology development, has developed SOx scrubbers capable of cleaning ships exhaust gas down to the strictest 0.1% ECA requirements with variants that can operate in Open, Closed loop and hybrid modes that can automatically transit between open and closed loop depending on the specific geographical regulation. The scrubbers are tailor made to any engine size, have a very small footprint and have flexible dimensions to accommodate for the specific vessel’s space availability with over 200 systems successfully installed since 2011. Since these in-line scrubbers have no moving parts and only requires the similar space as the silencer that it replaces, installation is simplified in the funnel area. Furthermore, for retrofits, Yara scrubbers can be fitted while the ship is in operation and no valuable commercial sailing time is lost. The scrubbers are produced in high quality, anti-corrosion steel giving superior lifetime and option of extended warranties against corrosion. Yara is the only abatement company that offers scrubber designs that allows for both Magnesium Oxide (MgO) and Caustic Soda (NaOH) as alkali in closed loop although MgO is normally recommended.
Matthew Plumtree (Manager – Green Technology Solutions at Goltens) in his compendious presentation reinforced that stricter emissions regulations for Sulphur oxides are here to stay. With 15 months left until entry into force of this regulatory behemoth, the time for watching and waiting is over. After a ship owner decided that scrubbers can deliver a respectable ROI especially if the price of LSFO rises, the Goltens Green Technology team investigate the retrofit process for installation of scrubbers, emphasizing that good preparation is key for a smooth and cost-efficient scrubber retrofit. Goltens expertise lies in detailed vessel survey including 3-D scanning and modeling used for precise study of final equipment locations, detailed engineering using Goltens generated 3D models and plans from the tower manufacturer, prefabrication of foundation structures, feasibility study of access routes for transfer of equipment into location and preparation of access routes while vessel is in operation, ExhaustGas Silencer dismantling and removal, preparation of casing for installation route, mounting and assembly of the Scrubbers including necessary modification and reconnection of exhaust gas piping.
Ship owners in the audience candidly revealed the internal debates within their organizations on how best to weather the oncoming regulatory storm. From the results of an online poll conducted by Matthew with the audience, it was evident most of them were still 'sitting on the fence' contemplating if the risk of investing $5 million for installing an open loop scrubber that regulators ‘might’ restrict the use in the long term because of the impact of acidic wash water on the marine environment, was a viable solution.
Coupled with the Dubai weather the thought-provoking rendezvous seemed to be in doomsday mode on 20 September attributed primarily to the roaring noise of commercial realities viz. stricter regulatory requirements and an oversupply of tonnage which has led to a ship operation barely breaking even. Yet, against this sobering reality check it was heartening to find the discussions overwhelmingly interesting, hugely absorbing and ultimately enjoyable with a flourishing finish over cocktails and scrumptious international cuisine hosted by Goltens Co Ltd Dubai for the 145 guests.
Photos from the evening are viewable via https://photos.app.goo.gl/wNbvdudKRq1u6oGLA