SINGAPORE / COPENHAGEN, Sep 12 (Reuters) -Maersk installs scrubbers. The company A. Moller-Maersk, the largest container transport group in the world, will add devices to reduce harmful exhaust emissions to some of its vessels before the new global fuel regulations from 2020.
To combat air pollution, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the shipping agency of the United Nations, has established global regulations to limit the sulfur content in marine fuels, known as bunkers, by 0.5 percent below 3.5 current percent.
Shipowners could comply with the new regulations by installing sulfur exhaust cleaning systems, known as scrubbers, and continue to burn cheaper fuel with high sulfur content (HSFO). Companies could also comply with burning more expensive fuels with low sulfur content, such as marine diesel fuel, ultra low sulfur fuel oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“As part of the preparations, we have decided to invest in new debugging technology in a limited number of vessels in our fleet of around 750 container ships,” Niels-Henrik Lindegaard, director of Maersk Oil Trading, told Reuters in an email .
“The use of debugging technology is a small part of our global fuel supply strategy for 2020, and only one of several elements, to ensure compliance on time,” he said.
A series of recent orders for the installation of scrubbers led energy researchers to review their forecasts for high sulfur fuel demand, as the scrubbers will allow ships to continue burning HSFO.
But, the shift to low sulfur fuels is still widely considered to be the most practical form of compliance given the high operating and investment costs associated with the scrubbers and the uncertainty about future emissions regulations.
“While we will continue to explore how best to comply with the 2020 sulfur maximum limit, we continue to believe that the best solution remains compliance with refinery fuels on land,” said Lindegaard.
In August, Maersk announced that it had reached an agreement with Royal Vopak, an independent tank storage operator, to launch a 0.5 percent sulfur fuel fuel facility in Rotterdam.
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