PureSOx retrofit pays off for feedership owner

Retrofits were carried out at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven Retrofits were carried out at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven

AUGUST 9, 2016 — Jork, Germany, headquartered shipowner Reederei H.-P. Wegener is reporting major fuel cost savings using Alfa Laval PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning systems.

The company's four container feeder vessels, include two 1,000 TEU ships chartered by Finnish carrier Containerships Ltd. Oy. The ships — Containerships VI and Containerships VIII — each have 12.6 MW four-stroke Wärtsilä main engines and were retrofitted with Alfa Laval PureSOx systems installed at the beginning of 2015.

The systems were installed by German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven. The ships were the first feeder vessels to be retrofitted with PureSOx by the shipyard, which had retrofitted five ConRo vessels with the system the previous year and has since retrofitted other feeder container vessels similar in size and operating profile to Containerships VI and VIII. Additional retrofit contracts are also in the shipyard's pipeline.

The retrofits were requested by Containerships Ltd. Oy prior to the January 2015 entry into force of new sulfur emission regulations.

Reederei H.-P. Wegener negotiated a new charter with Containerships Ltd. Oy to finance the scrubbers and reports benefits from the investment after just one-and-a-half years of operation.

Containerships VI and VIII spend 100% of their time in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and, as in most charter contracts, Containerships Ltd. Oy pays for the fuel.

"PureSOx lets Containerships VI and VIII continue using HFO, instead of more expensive, low-sulfur alternatives," says Dr. Jörn Mecklenburg Managing Director of Reederei H.-P. Wegener. "A scrubber starts to pay off when 40% of a vessel's time is spent in ECAs, so the business case for these vessels was very clear. Even with the lower fuel delta in the past year, it turned out to be a good investment."

The shipowner selected PureSOx as its choice of scrubber based on its documented merits and Alfa Laval's reputation as an experienced scrubber supplier.

"We wanted the highest-quality and longest-lasting solution available," says Dr. Mecklenburg. "Throughout the selection and installation process, we were very satisfied with Alfa Laval's assistance."

Containerships VI and VIII were the first fully container-dedicated vessels to be equipped with PureSOx. Both were retrofitted with open-loop PureSOx systems that were specially designed for the low-alkalinity Baltic waters in which the vessels operate.
Reederei H.-P. Wegener opted to have the installations prepared for hybrid conversion, making it possible to add a

closed-loop arrangement at a later date."We are prepared if new rules take effect where the vessels operate, so there's no worry about needing a new system later on," says Dr. Mecklenburg.

"We've been very satisfied with the reliability in the first year of operation," he adds. "During that short time, our scrubber investment has basically paid for itself."

Switching to MGO or another low-sulfur fuel would have increased the charterer's fuel costs by up to 100%, based on the price difference to low-cost HFO in the Russian ports where the vessels refuel. At an estimated 8,000 metric tonnes of fuel per year, Dr. Mecklenburg estimates that this would have meant additional expenditures of EUR 1.5 million. Instead, the savings provided by PureSOx allow the two ships to continue operating competitively in the specialized segment of oversize 45-foot container transports.

"Working with Alfa Laval has kept our ships in compliance and allows our charter customer to continue offering competitive rates for freight," says Dr. Mecklenburg. "Our experience has shown the clear benefits PureSOx offers, for profitability as well as peace of mind."

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