Danish shipping giant Maersk has unveiled its plans to install exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) on a part of its containership fleet.
In an email sent to Reuters, Niels Henrik Lindegaard, Head of Maersk Oil Trading, a division of Maersk, said that the shipping major decided to invest in the scrubber technology on a limited number of vessels in its fleet of around 750 container vessels.
Lindegaard added that the investment in scrubbers is a just a part of the company’s effort to meet the International Maritime Organization’s upcoming sulfur regulations, scheduled to take effect in January 2020. He informed that the company will continue to explore how to best comply with the sulphur cap,
Maersk’s decision comes on the back of a series of scrubber retrofit contracts signed for existing vessels. Apart from scrubbers, the available options for meeting the new regulations are low sulphur heavy fuel oil (LSFO), marine gas oil (MGO) or other alternative fuels, such as LNG, hydrogen and methanol.
During Singapore Maritime Week 2018 in April, Soren Skou, CEO of Maersk, said that low sulphur fuel is the best way for the shipping industry to meet IMO’s sulphur cap.
“It makes sense for refineries to remove sulfur from fuel and sell it to us instead of us setting up refineries aboard ships,” Skou was earlier cited by Platts.
Just last month, Maersk teamed up with Royal Vopak, an independent tank storage operator, on a project aimed at launching 0.5 percent sulphur fuel bunkering facility in Rotterdam.
“We trust that this initiative will put to rest some of the concerns the industry has on fuel availability as well as secure our continued competitiveness in the market,” Lindegaard earlier said.