VIDEO: Service deal with Alfa Laval adds connectivity to Safe Bulkers scrubbers

Written by Nick Blenkey
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IMAGE: Alfa Laval

In June 2018, Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE:SB) selected Alfa Laval to retrofit 20 of its vessels with PureSOx exhaust gas scrubber systems. Now the dry bulk operator has signed a long-term Alfa Laval service agreement that will safeguard the systems’ compliance with IMO 2020 through connectivity and more.

Safe Bulkers ordered PureSOx retrofits for 12 Post-Panamax vessels, six Kamsarmax vessels and two Capesize vessels, with deliveries running until March 2020. Almost 15 of those systems, which comprise open-loop scrubbers configured for multiple inlet sources, have now been installed at COSCO retrofit yards with engineering design being provided by Alpha Marine Consulting P.C.

Throughout the process, Alfa Laval has partnered closely with the shipyards, providing support through locally based project managers with strong backing from its PureSOx product center in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

“Alfa Laval’s project management has really been first-rate,” says Dr. Loukas Barmparis, President of Safe Bulkers. “Not only was there no time difference or language barrier in working with our yards, there was never any question about scope or responsibilities. Alfa Laval’s team worked with us proactively to solve issues as quickly as possible, and they brought additional resources to the yard whenever time or flexibility became a concern.”


With the majority of the PureSOx retrofits completed, Safe Bulkers is now looking ahead to secure trouble-free operation through a tailored Alfa Laval service agreement. It includes connectivity and lifecycle-oriented services selected from the Alfa Laval PureSOx 360° Service Portfolio, provided for a flat yearly fee.

“We feel very satisfied with the scrubber project execution, and we want to be equally successful in the operation of our PureSOx systems,” says Dr. Barmparis. “The Alfa Laval service agreement will help us safeguard long-term performance, for example by using data analysis to keep systems performing at their peak.”


In addition to genuine Alfa Laval spare parts, service kits and sensor calibration by exchange, the agreement includes services that will make corrective maintenance more plannable and maintenance costs more predictable.

“Hands-on training will lay a foundation for safe, compliant and cost-effective PureSOx operation,” says Dr. Barmparis.

Safe Bulkers crew members and superintendents will be trained at the recently opened Alfa Laval PureSOx Training Center in Shanghai, where a full-size PureSOx system is installed.

“On top of that foundation, we will use data-driven PureSOx Connect services for compliance and performance monitoring,” notes Dr. Barmparis.

PureSOx Connect services will let Safe Bulkers prove compliance easily, generating automatic reports for handover to local authorities. In addition, the scrubber data will be analyzed with advanced algorithms, enabling health monitoring, root-cause identification and remote service support when needed.

“Scrubber connectivity will give us deeper insights and keep our systems optimized,” says Dr. Barmparis. “Alfa Laval will perform yearly condition audits of our PureSOx installations, but PureSOx Connect will help us take preventive actions and minimize the corrective needs they find.”


“We want to protect our uptime and eliminate any risk of non-compliance,” says Dr. Barmparis. “Alfa Laval was the natural choice to help us do that, and their clear service offering made it easy to find the right services for our needs.”

“As in all projects, we’ve worked hard to meet Safe Bulkers’ expectations during the sales and order execution phases,” says René Diks, Director for Exhaust Gas Cleaning at Alfa Laval. “Now that the orders are nearing completion, we will continue working hard to provide Safe Bulkers with support and services that will keep their PureSOx systems compliant and in top shape. More than scrubber deliveries, we see this as a long-term partnership.”

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