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Krystallon system diagram (Click on image to enlarge)

October 20, 2009

Hamworthy acquires Krystallon

As restrictions on marine fuel sulfur content grow, shipowners are looking more closely at gas scrubbers as an alternative to using low sulfur distillate fuel.

Now fluid handling systems supplier Hamworthy has acquired Krystallon Limited, the company that pioneered the development of gas scrubbers as a commercially viable way to comply with new IMO MARPOL Annex VI regulations on emissions.

The areas covered by those regulations are growing. In MARPOL designated Emission Control Areas, the maximum sulfur content in fuels must be cut to 1.5 percent, then to 1 percent by 2012, and to 0.1 percent in 2015. The regulations are already in force in the North Sea, English Channel and the Baltic. The U.S. and Canada have applied for a North American ECA for the waters extending 200 Nm from their coasts. Other countries are expected to follow suit. A global limit of 0.5 percent sulfur has been proposed from 2020.

Over the last four years, Krystallon has supplied two shipboard and two on-shore gas scrubbing systems capable of cutting sulfur emissions from plant burning residual fuel oil with a sulfur content of 3.5 percent by as much as 98 percent. According to Hamworthy, trials and operations of Krystallon's plant were material to IMO sanctioning gas scrubbers as a permissible alternative to low sulfur marine distillate fuel to meet its emissions targets.

Hamworthy Chief Executive Joe Oatley said: "The emerging market for marine sulfur emissions reduction is an exciting global opportunity underpinned by international environmental regulations. The acquisition of Krystallon is consistent with our strategy of expanding the Group's technological base in long-term growth markets."

The renamed Hamworthy Krystallon will be part of the Inert Gas Systems division where Hamworthy has more than 40 years experience of sea water scrubbing, as well as extensive project management and manufacturing resources.

"While low sulfur content fuel had attracted wide attention, gas scrubbing has now proved itself as a workable, lower cost alternative," said Hamworthy Krystallon new managing director Sigurd Jenssen. He added that, as well as eliminating almost all sulfur emissions, gas scrubbing cut particulate emissions by up to 80 percent.

"Hamworthy's experience in seawater scrubbing and its global manufacturing and service network will be critical in ensuring that this technical solution can now reach a wider audience," Mr. Jenssen said.

Hamworthy Krystallon's scrubber system is an open loop design that neutralizes scrubbed acid gasses using the carbonate/bicarbonate naturally occurring in sea water. Fitted into the ship's stack space, the unit can be operated at temperatures of up to 450 C.

Initially trialed on board the P&O ferry Pride of Kent, the Krystallon solution was subsequently installed on the Holland America Lines cruise ship Zaandam, and as part of onshore plants in Greece and Japan. The technology can be applied to scrub the exhaust from both two and four stroke engines as well as boiler systems.

The units so far delivered have worked in combination with diesel engines in the 1 MW -- 8 MW power range, but Krystallon has developed designs to work with engines of up to 67 MW.


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