Scrubber Installation on Containership – Curbing Emissions

Scrubber Installation on Containership

Image source: The Loadstar

Scrubber Installation on Containership is used to remove particulate matter and harmful components from the exhaust gasses generated as a result of combustion processes in marine engines.

Scrubber vis-à-vis other alternatives

  • Scrubber Installation on Containership and implications of using this innovation is one of the shipping industry’s sizzling affair on the top of the introduction of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) global Sulfur regulations as on 1 January 2020.
  • According to container shipping latest news from Bimco, a maritime association for ship owners, charterers, shipbrokers, and agents, the container industry has become the most scrubber-outfitted division in the commercial cargo industry, exceeding the fleet of crude oil tankers since around mid-year.
  • Bimco’s data shows that containerships with a total cargo capacity of TEU 5.3 million are now configured with an exhaust gas cleaning device (scrubber) to eradicate sulfur oxides (SOx) from the combustion gases.
  • Bimco extrapolates multifarious installed scrubbers by industry, including pending scrubber installations and new buildings, and such analyses confirms that 13% of the main cargo categories holding ships, which accounts for nearly 2,600 of the approximately 20,000 commercial cargo ships, are presently fitted with scrubbers. The large vessels, the VLCCs, Capesizes, and Ultra-large containerships, which, according to Bimco, absorbing more fuel than the smaller Aframax, Handymax / Handysize and feeders classes of commercial cargo ships, are the ones which have adopted scrubber technology.
  • Nearly 30% of VLCCs and Capesize vessels, assessed by DWT, are currently equipped with scrubbers, and till the end of 2020, BIMCO expects an additional 5% sharp rise. The share currently exceeds 40% for the post-Panamax (15,000 + TEU) class and is expected to hit half the class by the year end.
  • Despite recent reports challenging whether ship owners will continue adding scrubbers on board their containers, Bimco indicates the pattern continues to be delivered with scrubbers and with half of all new container builds, totalling 1.2 million TEU. They also note that there are 429 retrofits awaiting, totalling 1.5 million TEUs.
  • As 1 January 2020 arrived, the choice of scrubber alternative to align with the sulfur regulations was strongly questioned. But even with the current market’s low bunker fuel price expansion between high and very low sulfur fuels, it’s safe to assume the investments are financially sensible.
  • Adding value to the financial conversation is the shrinking of the price difference between low and high-sulfur fuels that the markets have witnessed. Deciding to agree to the new sulfur regulation without installing a scrubber needs a vessel to run on low-sulfur fuel oil.
  • The scrubber economics controversy is all gone now, as 2020 is in full blast and emphasis has shifted to COVID-19, and how it’s disrupting the lives of everyone.


The scrubbing systems would go a long way to ensure treating the exhaust from engines, auxiliary engines and boilers, onshore and on board marine vessels in order to prevent damage to human life and the environment by the toxic chemicals.

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