In a move that echoes Frontline purchase of a stake in its supplier of scrubbers to its fleet, Ecochlor and Scorpio Tankers have agreed a contract for 55 Ecochlor ballast water management systems (BWMSs) and that Scorpio Tankers will become a minority investor in Ecochlor. Scorpio Tankers environmental compliance director Ole Christian Schroder told Tanker Shipping & Trade that the systems will be fitted to 55 tankers that had been delivered without any units on board.
In a statement today (25 July), Ecochlor chief executive Steve Candito said the company was “honoured to have been selected by Scorpio Tankers as their BWMS compliance partner and welcome Scorpio Tankers as a shareholder in our company.” The statement did not say what proportion of the company Scorpio tankers had acquired or the amount paid.
On any other day, this would have been the largest single order of BWMS, but NYK placed an order with SunRui for BWMS for 89 vessels just days before.
The product carriers that will be retrofitted with the Ecochlor System range between 38,000 to over 100,000 dwt. Installations are expected to begin in Q4 of this year and continue to the end of 2022.
It is understood that the product tankers concerned were not fitted with BWMS from the outset, but may have been built with space in the engine room, and branch piping for the main ballast piping. The special feature of Ecochlor BWMS is that it does not require a dedicated space. Its modular construction means is can be fitted on deck and / or steering compartments.
Emanuele Lauro, chairman and chief executive of Scorpio Tankers said “We are delighted to be working with Ecochlor, given their best-in-class technology. Reliability and quality were primary considerations for us, given our commitment to safeguard the environment and complying with the complex regulatory guidelines for ballast water treatment.”
Scorpio Tankers currently owns or finance leases 109 product tankers (38 LR2 tankers, 12 LR1 tankers, 45 MR tankers and 14 Handymax tankers) with an average age of 3.0 years and time or bareboat charters-in 17 product tankers (two LR2 tankers, eight MR tankers and seven Handymax tankers).
The Scorpio Tankers deal is the second large contract Ecochlor has announced this year. In May Ecochlor announced a 36 vessel deal with Angelicoussis Shipping Group Limited.
• A video of how the Ecochlor system works can be viewed here.