Chembulk Tankers will not use scrubbers for IMO 2020

  • : Oil products
  • 19/06/14

Chembulk Tankers will not use scrubbers to meet the 2020 global marine fuel regulation.

The company's chemical tankers are "too small" to efficiently fit a scrubber and too old to justify the retrofit investment, Melbourne Pinks, senior vice president of marine services for Chembulk Tankers, said at Platts' annual bunker and residual fuel oil conference in Houston yesterday.

Pinks said he did not think that demand from shippers using scrubbers to meet the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 rules would be great enough for suppliers to justify the expense to maintain storage and other infrastructure dedicated to high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO). Chembulk's fleet does not have fixed trading routes, and Pinks is not certain how easy it will be to procure HSFO in the different international ports of call in 2020.

The company is also concerned more countries will ban open-loop scrubbers. Closed-loop scrubbers, meanwhile, present challenges associated with effluent disposal.

Chembulk will comply with the marine fuel regulation by burning 0.5pc sulphur marine fuel, although there is concern about the compatibility of marine fuels from different suppliers, Pinks said. The shipper will try to avoid commingling fuels in its bunker tanks.

As of March, the company owned 20 chemical tankers and chartered six. The chemical tanker market is oversupplied with vessels. For 2018, Chembulk, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, reported a net loss of $67.96mn, compared with a loss of $31.05mn in 2017. In its first quarter 2019 report, the company noted that it maintains a cautiously optimistic outlook for the chemical tanker industry in 2020 because it expects the marine fuel regulation to create more demand for clean petroleum product, which could attract more interest in its now underutilized chemical tankers.

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