Study for major shipping company for operation on Sulphur Cap 2020 compliant fuels

The “Sulphur Cap 2020” air emission legislation was issued under Regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI and it will limit the maximum Sulphur content of fuel to 0.50%. It will affect all fuels used by vessels outside the existing Sulphur Emission Control Areas (Baltic Sea, North Sea, North America & Caribbean ECA) where the sulfur limit of 0.10% was introduced in January 1st, 2015.

Most of existing power propulsion plants were designed to operate on heavy fuel oil while utilizing lighter fuels with lower sulfur content during system start-up and shutdown or when engines or boilers are running on the partial loads. Hence, the operation on low sulphur fuels is a complex matter. To achieve a continuous and trouble-free operation vessel might need to carry out the upgrades to the existing machinery and systems.

One of the largest LNG tanker fleet owners in the world approached Albion Marine Solutions to prepare a feasibility study evaluating the options available for handling excess heat/ steam while operating on low sulphur fuel oil.
In original conditions, heat which was transferred by exhaust gases was utilized to convert water into steam which in turn was utilized to keep the viscosity of HFO within a recommended limit, with an excess of heat being dumped to Steam Condensers. Steam Condensers were sized according to previous heat consumption demands and not capable to deal with a surplus of steam while HFO transferring and storage systems are not in use.
The study considered the following areas for review:

  • Bunker tankage allocation
  • The configuration of fuel handling and separation system with special consideration to a treatment and injection properties of compliant hybrid fuels
  • Capabilities of fuel pumps to handle a compliant fuel
  • Fuel switching, and most importantly,
  • Handling an excess of heat. 

Albion Marine were pleased to assist the client to get ready for coming legislation.

IMO 2020: How many ships have scrubbers?

After months of downbeat assessment for the scrubber market, in recent week orders are reported to have surged and the corresponding positive headlines are difficult to miss.

So how many vessels have scrubbers? The landscape of scrubber market is quickly changing. Previously the demand for scrubber retrofit was dominated by cruise lines and ferries. According to a recent survey of its membership by the EGCSA, as of May 31, 2018 there were 983 vessels with scrubber system installed or on order, translating into 1,531 individual scrubber towers. Now we see more and more containers, bulker, LNG, tanker and other type of fleets being considered for a conversion to the scrubbers. Of course, the number of systems installed only tells part of the story, and when it comes to understanding what the resulting HSFO bunker demand will be in 2020 it is the size of the vessels with scrubbers installed that also needs to be known. The line up for scrubbers became longer almost daily. Some manufacturers take orders for the second half of 2020. Shipowners do not want to spend any more time on lengthy discussions. Many shipowners take advantage of Albion Marine Solutions expertise in the scrubber market by requesting comprehensive feasibility and engineering studies for their respective vessels.

While the orderbook is filling up, it is still very much possible to order a system in time for #2020. Our company have direct access to over two dozen of scrubbers available on market. Albion Marine provides highly professional, quick and cost-effective project management and engineering solution for preparation for Sulphur Cap 2020.


Challenges for operation on Sulphur Cap 2020 Compliant Fuels

Exhaust Gas cleaning is an effective and mature industrial technology with more than 20 scrubbers manufacturers in the business. The decision to install scrubbers’ today will come with a fancy price tag but it will also mean lower cost of compliance when the limit is enforced. However, amidst of all uncertainties, many shipowners are considering meeting the regulations with the compliant fuel. This choice is associated with lower investment cost but has some technical and commercial challenges to make it a viable long term solution. The existing Fuel Oil System needs to be upgraded to handle low viscous compliant oil with some factors of redundancy to store different grade of oils as the fuel market, at the time of writing this, is expected to be very uncertain post implementation. 

More info:

To scrub or not to scrub?

Scrubbers, although attractive for quick payback time, are not a feasible solution for all vessels to meet Sulphur Cap 2020.

Installation of scrubbers is not a ‘One size fits all’ solution as the technical and commercial feasibility of such an installation will directly depend on the operating profile of the vessel. Two sister’s ships, although similar in construction can have two different operating profiles and Scrubbers, being a great decision for one can be a bad investment for another.

Albion Marine Solutions have participated in various technical and commercial feasibility studies on installation of Scrubbers and have helped shipowners determine the best solution for their fleet.

More info:


A pragmatic approach to Sulfur Cap 2020

Albion Marine is busy assisting Shipowners to prepare for a coming Sulfur Cap 2020 legislation.

Compliance is a major concern.

Source MAREX 2018-06-18 16:08:03

On Monday, the shipping industry's major trade associations issued a statement calling on IMO to finalize details of the 2020 sulfur cap rollout, and they suggested that port states should take a pragmatic approach to enforcement.

The associations - including BIMCO, ICS, Intercargo, Intertanko and WSC - asked IMO member states to consider suggestions on:

  • a "practical and pragmatic approach" from IMO member states when verifying compliance with the 0.50 percent global sulfur cap;
  • safety implications associated with 2020 fuels and their respective challenges;
  • a draft standard for reporting on fuel oil non-availability;
  • proposals for amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to require sampling points for fuel oil; and
  • verification issues, control mechanism and actions.