The arrival of 2019 leaves just one year until the global sulphur cap becomes reality. But as the marine industry prepares itself, an important milestone has already been reached. Exactly a decade has passed since the first vessel set sail with an Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubber on board.
In 2009, roro vessel DFDS Ficaria Seaways entered drydock for an expansion of its cargo space. While the vessel was being rebuilt, a hybrid PureSOx system – able to perform closed-loop as well as open-loop scrubbing – was retrofitted to clean the exhaust gas from its 21-MW main engine. At the time of the pilot installation, the prospects for SOx scrubbers were anything but certain.
“10 years ago, there were many who didn’t think SOx scrubbers were feasible,” says Alfa Laval sales director, exhaust gas cleaning Erik Haveman. “People simply weren’t convinced that a scrubber could meet ECA limits while operating in a marine environment, and the doubts about closed-loop scrubbing were even greater.”
A decade later, the merits of both the scrubber and Alfa Laval’s centrifugal water cleaning unit are undeniable. The PureSOx system on Ficaria Seaways has spent thousands of hours in compliant operation – and is still going strong. In fact, so is every other PureSOx system ever installed. This flawless track record is unmatched by any other supplier in the industry, and it is underpinned by Alfa Laval’s 100 years of marine experience.
From theory to experience
“The 10-year mark is an important milestone for Alfa Laval, but it also holds weight for customers facing the global sulphur cap,” Mr Haveman says. “It means that our claims about PureSOx are not theoretical, but have been proven at sea, time and time again.”
During the course of the past 10 years, PureSOx has been installed or retrofitted on vessels of nearly every type. Moreover, Alfa Laval has found answers for the complex process of working with shipyards, engineering companies and other partners.
Positioned today to meet the future
Having developed a well-functioning production apparatus in the early years of the scrubber market, Alfa Laval has since focused on scaling up with retained quality. In addition, the company continues to develop its broad offering of scrubber services. Having followed dozens of PureSOx installations on widely differing vessels and in widely varied conditions, the company has amassed a significant body of working knowledge. This is being applied to help customers by optimising their systems through scrubber connectivity.
“With our PureSOx Connect offering, we’re entering the next phase even as others are just entering the market,” says Mr Haveman. “A decade ago, our pilot PureSOx installation was the cutting edge. Today, we’re pushing the boundaries for exhaust gas cleaning on a fleet scale.”
To learn more about Alfa Laval PureSOx and Alfa Laval’s approach to exhaust gas cleaning, visit https://www.alfalaval.com/puresox