Both Wärtsilä and Metso have extensive experience in the use of scrubber technology for land-based installations and for a number of years have worked togetheroin the development of scrubber technology. In 2005 the two companies, together with other companies in the Finnish maritime cluster, embarked on a program to develop a feasible marine scrubber.
By fall 2007, the project had reached the stage of being ready for a test installation. A tanker, the MT Suula owned by the Neste Shipping division of the Finnish company, Neste Oil Oyj, was made available and the project-testing phase began in November 2008. During the test period, which was completed in mid-2010, the Suula operated primarily in the Baltic Sea but also visited many North Sea harbors. The sulfur removal efficiency was proven to be well within the most stringent IMO limits. The discharge water was also proven to be well in compliance with IMO wash water Guidelines.
This extensive development program, from the establishment of the project group in 2005 until finalisation of the pilot tests on board a working tanker in 2010, culminated in the Wärtsilä SOx scrubber becoming the first such unit to be certified for marine applications. The classification societies Det Norske Veritas, Germanisher Lloyd and Bureau Veritas have granted the Wärtsilä unit a SOx Emissions Compliance Certificate.
In December 2010, Wärtsilä received its first commercial order for a scrubber for a marine application. Containerships Ltd Oy, a Finnish shipping customer, placed a contract for a turnkey installation onboard its vessel Containerships VII, which has a Wärtsilä W7L64 main engine. The scope of the order includes a Wärtsilä fresh water scrubber. The scrubber will be delivered to the customer in August 2011.
More stringent IMO sulfur regulations, which require strict sulfur oxides control, are set to enter into force in January 2015 and will apply to Sulfur Emissions Control Areas (SECAs).
With this in mind, a rapid ramp-up and development of the scrubber market is foreseen. Following the systematic development of this technology, its successful validation, and the agreement with Metso, Wärtsilä says it is "committed and ready" to fullfil the needs of the shipping industry regarding scrubber technology. The units can be delivered both for new ships, and as a retrofit for ships already in service.
June 16, 2011