A pure product tanker company named Scorpio based in Monaco has decided to use compliant fuels to meet the Sulphur cap of IMO.
The fuel their ships trading outside of Sulphur Emission Control Areas, popularly known as ECAs can use should have a Sulphur content of not more than 0.5 pct. It is considerably less than the currently permitted amount is, which is near to 3.5.
To maintain the prescribed limit ship owners have many options open to them:
- Scrubbers if cannot shift to using low-sulfur fuel oil(LSFO),
- Marine gas oil (MGO)
- Marine fuel
The Scorpio tankers, however, are still under the process of evaluation regarding the use of scrubbers. The company managing the Scorpio says that there is no urgency or compelling argument to install them right now.
The price of scrubbers and their installation varies according to the size of the ships. Bigger ships have been identified as good candidates for retrofits. Smaller vessels have an issue of space deficiency.
However, the main problem, say the companies making scrubbers, is that the scrubbers are not long-term solutions.
Explaining its decision, Scorpio says that the factors standing as reasons not to choose scrubbers are regulatory, technological, and supply/pricing risks.
The makers of the Scorpio says “The demand and fuel-efficiency stories are more relevant to the product tanker segment than the yes/no scrubber decision.”
Scorpio is very confident about the increment in the demand for product tankers which shall rise from the increasing demands for low-sulfur fuel oil as of 2020.
A reason for this is may be that the companies are unwilling to donate scrubbers on a large scale. Many companies are also taking the wait and see approach. To add to this the availability and the effort to install the scrubber which is pretty time consuming and cannot nearly cover one-quarter of the global fleet by 2020.
Because the availability of low Sulphur fuels is great across the globe product tankers are going to benefit a lot as the cargos would now have to be transported to different locations across the globe.
This is expected to result in new trade routes and increase the ton-mile demand.
According to a rough estimation by the creators of the Scorpio, by 2021, if at least 25 pct of the global fleet uses scrubbers or LNG, the 80 pct fleet would have to manage by consuming compliant fuels.
If 75 pct of the needs to be transported by sea, this would increase seaborne refined product exports by 1.9 mb/d (75% of 2.5 mb/d).