More shipowners opt for exhaust gas scrubbers

Wärtsilä hybrid scrubber Wärtsilä hybrid scrubber

MARCH 31, 2014 — More shipowners are deciding that exhaust gas scrubbers are the most practical way to comply with increasingly tough regulations on fuel sulfur and vessel emissions. The trend has seen Wärtsilä receive a number of new orders for its exhaust gas cleaning systems.

In March 2014, Solvang ASA of Norway confirmed an option that will see Wärtsilä Open Loop Scrubber Systems installed aboard another of its LGC (Large Gas Carrier) vessels. This confirmation follows the order that the company placed in late December 2013 for two such vessels. The company has already taken delivery of Wärtsilä Open Loop Scrubber Systems, which have been installed aboard the VLGC vessels Clipper Quito and Clipper Posh.

The Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in South Korea is delivering all of these new Solvang vessels.

In addition to these newbuild projects Wärtsilä has been contracted by Solvang to retrofit its Open Loop Scrubber System onboard the LPG tanker Clipper Harald. This installation is scheduled to be delivered in summer 2014 and brings the total number of Solvang vessels to be fitted with Wärtsilä scrubber systems to six.

Other owners with ships building at HHI opting for Wärtsilä systems include Wilhelmsen and Dorian LPG.

Wärtsilä will supply Hybrid Scrubber Systems for four new Post-Panamax car carriers currently being built for Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning Malta (WLSM), a subsidiary of Oslo-based Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA. These vessels will be delivered from the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard.

Two further Wärtsilä Open Loop Scrubber Systems are to be delivered aboard a new VLGC being built at the HHI yard for Dorian-LPG Ltd of Greece.

"The acceptance of exhaust gas cleaning systems as a means of achieving compliance with environmental regulations is rapidly increasing," says Mr. Jae-Su Kim, Technical Manager of Initial Design Department of Shipbuilding Division of Hyundai Heavy Industries. "Wärtsilä is not only the leading supplier of such equipment, but is also able to provide all the technical and installation support needed. The cooperation between our companies is first class, and because of this we can provide the service that the industry demands."

"Wärtsilä is committed to working with its customers to find the right environmental performance solution according to their specific operational profiles," says Mr Sigurd Jenssen, Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning, Wärtsilä Ship Power. "We are also committed to working closely with the shipbuilding industry to develop the necessary installation expertise, and HHI has been very successful in developing its capabilities in this respect."

The Wärtsilä systems already delivered to two Solvang vessels involved two scrubber systems; one for the main engine and one integrated exhaust gas cleaning unit for the three auxiliary engines.

The latest order from Wilh. Wilhelmsen follows a similar contract in 2012, which involved the retrofitting of Wärtsilä Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems to the MV Tarago. The success of that project has been cited as an important factor in the decision to fit the Wärtsilä systems to these new vessels. A third party measurement and verification program, partly funded by the Research Council of Norway, will be carried out during the next two and a half years. This is expected to further endorse the viability of exhaust gas cleaning as an efficient and cost effective means of achieving Emission Control Area compliance.

The Dorian-LPG order consists of a 15 MW exhaust gas cleaning unit for the main engine and a 4 MW exhaust gas cleaning unit for the auxiliary engines. They will be delivered as an open-loop system, but will be ready prepared for retrofitting to hybrid performance if required at a later date.

The Wärtsilä exhaust gas cleaning technology will enable these ships to fully comply with International Maritime Organization (IMO) and European Commission regulations governing sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions. In particular, the vessels will be able to use the Panama Canal and to operate in the United States Caribbean Sea Emissions Control Area, which includes the waters adjacent to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is particularly important for the Wilhelmsen vessels that operate regularly in this area.

As of March 2014, Wärtsilä has 45 vessels contracted for a total of 94 exhaust gas cleaning systems for both new building and retrofit projects.