Danish tanker owner and operator Maersk Tankers revealed plans to invest in four scrubbers to be installed on selected long range 2 (LR2) vessels within the company’s product tanker fleet.
As informed, one existing LR2 vessel, as well as three LR2 newbuildings within the Maersk Product Tanker fleet will be equipped with scrubbers before January 2020 to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) sulphur regulation.
The new regulation states that the current global limit for sulphur content in fuel oil used on board vessels will change from 3.50% to a maximum of 0.50% from January 2020. To comply with the regulation, Maersk Tankers said it “has analyzed and evaluated various options, taking into account the long-term financial viability of available options and potential environmental impact.”
“We have carried out extensive analyses while also consulting with industry specialists and relevant regulatory bodies,” Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Tankers, said.
“Based on that, installing scrubbers on selected larger-sized product tanker vessels is assessed to be a financially viable solution while combining it with the use of compliant low-sulphur fuel on the majority of the fleet,” he added.
Installing scrubbers on smaller-sized tanker vessel is not currently deemed financially viable, according to the company.
“Maersk Tankers supports the IMO 2020 sulphur regulation and will implement it as required. However, we also recognise a need for gaining a deeper understanding of the regulation’s overall implication on the global product tanker industry,” Thomassen continued.
Maersk Tankers is also ready to handle scrubbers for the vessels that are operated in its commercial pools, the company further said.
Maersk Tankers operates 164 product tanker vessels across five segments: Intermediate, Handy, MR, LR2 and Aframax. Of these, 80 are owned by Maersk Product Tankers, 22 are chartered and 62 are under commercial management. Moreover, the company has an ongoing fleet renewal program in the MR and LR2 segments.