Clean Marine will install EGCS systems on board seven Inventor Chemical Tankers (ICT) vessels built between 2015 and 2017.
ICT chief operating officer Torfin Eide said the decision to choose the ‘compact’ solution for his 19,900 DWT vessels was driven by a number of factors.
“Together with our technical management team, we compared performance, size, weight, price and operating costs of similar products developed by other companies before choosing Clean Marine,” he said.
“Also, Clean Marine’s compact size for this scrubber means that we can avoid a major retrofit – a significant contributing factor in our decision.”
The agreement marks the launch of Clean Marine’s CleanSOx Compact scrubber, and its system has the advantage of not necessitating a design change to fit the equipment on board.
Clean Marine chief executive Nils Høy-Petersen said its new product was developed with an eye toward upcoming IMO sulphur regulations. “The new compact scrubber has all the advantages of our existing, patented EGCS technology, with added benefits for shipowners looking for ease of retrofitting, especially where space is at a premium.”
Mr Høy-Petersen told Tanker Shipping & Trade he thinks shipowners are prepared to invest in the technology.
“We see a trend shift from ‘talking about it’ to deciding ... In other words, a more serious approach by leading shipowners and operators. The ICT contract is our latest contract, but we see an increased interest in the market and believe there will be more contracts to come.”
Mr Høy-Petersen said he could understand the oft-cited ‘wait and see’ approach that many shipowners are taking towards the IMO 2020 SOx abatement deadline.
“For some it might be a right approach depending [on the] age and size of vessels. And some may also bet on lower fuel oil spread. On the other hand, many believe that the spread will be very high in the years after 2020 that will give short paybacks. After that there will only be an upside having an EGCS onboard – also when considering secondhand values.”
The Clean Marine chief executive also said he liked his technology's odds against competing solutions with potential buyers considering the likelihood of further regulations aimed at reducing other greenhouse gasses.
“The competing alternatives, be it MGO/compliant fuels, LNG, LPG, they do all contain carbon to a certain extent. Although a levy on greenhouse gas emission should be introduced and this would favour one of the alternatives more than the other, we still believe that EGCS will remain a viable alternative. In particular if you also take the short payback time into account (1-4 years) and also the relatively short life time of a vessel candidate (10-20 years). When you take a longer look the situation may be different, but that will go for all activities on mother earth.”
ICT partnered with Clean Marine and technical manager Diamond Shipmanagement Pte Ltd, to manage the installation and commissioning of the systems aboard its seven vessels. All vessels were designed and built by the Japanese-based Fukuoka Shipyard.