Stena Bulk Invests USD 55 Million in Scrubbers

Swedish tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has made a USD 55 million investment in scrubbers that will encompass sixteen of the company’s vessels.

Image Courtesy: Stena Bulk

As World Maritime News already reported, ten of the company’s IMOIIMAX vessels and five Suezmaxes will be equipped with the after-treatment systems. The order has now increased to sixteen ships and includes one additional MR tanker, President & CEO Erik Hånell confirmed to World Maritime News.

This major investment includes equipment, installation and time out of service. Payback time of investment is between 1,5 and 2,5 years which has already been secured by hedging the fuel spread, according to the company.

By installing scrubbers on board, Stena Bulk intends to comply with the upcoming IMO 2020 sulphur cap regulation, which limits the sulphur content in fuel oil used on board vessels globally to a maximum of 0.5% from today´s 3.5% limit. As a result of the new regulation, the global shipping fleet will by January 1, 2020, be required to either install scrubbers on board or to use a compliant fuel.

“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 by so limit our exposure to not finding the right fuel around the world and by that stay flexible in our trading. Even doing so we know it will require some changes and probably massive challenges in the planning logistically,” Hånell said.

“We will however prepare ourselves best possible so that we can secure at least the same level of support to our customers as today,” he added.

The scrubber to be installed is an open loop hybrid ready with water cleaning, which not only removes the sulfur but also particles from the exhaust.

In addition to the equipment, the most important part to make all work are the people working with it, according to Stena Bulk.

“We have the last 24 months prepared our business teams to assure minimal to none disruption caused by the scenario we are now facing as from January 1st 2020,” Stena Bulk said.

“Going forward, our digital platform, Orbit, one of many tools 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,” the company concluded.