Stena Bulk to install scrubbers on 16 ships

Installations set to be completed before 2020 sulphur cap implementation.

Stena Bulk's GB-flagged Stena Impero. Image credit: Stena Bulk

Updated on 19 Mar 2019 12:47 GMT

Stena Bulk has announced that it will be installing scrubber units on 16 of its vessel prior to the implementation of the global 0.5% cap on fuel sulphur content in January 2020.

The tanker shipping firm has ordered after-treatment systems for 10 IMOIIMAXes, five Suezmaxes and one standard medium-range (MR) tanker, with the total $55m project cost including equipment, installation and time out of service.

Payback on the outlay has been estimated at between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years, which the company says has already been secured by hedging the fuel spread.

The scrubber type selected for installation is open loop hybrid-ready with water cleaning, which is said to remove sulphur and also particles from the exhaust.

Commenting on the decision to install exhaust gas cleaning systems, Stena Bulk noted that the future availability of fuel in global ports "has now become a concern to many" as demand shifts from high-sulphur bunker fuel to distillates and low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO).

President and CEO Erik HÃ¥nell remarked: "We evaluated the different options and came to the conclusion that, for our business, by installing scrubbers we will secure greater availability of fuel for our vessels and [therefore] limit our exposure to not finding the right fuel around the world and ... stay flexible in our trading. Even doing so, we know it will require some changes - and probably massive challenges - in the planning, logistically. We will, however, prepare ourselves ... so that we can secure at least the same level of support to our customers as today."

Stena Bulk added: "We have the last 24 months prepared our business teams to assure minimal to [no] disruption caused by the scenario we are now facing as from January 1st 2020. Going forward, our digital platform, Orbit, ... will be able to confirm global supply to optimize the planning in our bunker operations, as a support to commercial operation, bunker trading and chartering."