Newcomer South Korean shipbuilder Samkang M&T has scored its first scrubber retrofitting contract. It has been chosen to install the technology on two Suezmax oil tankers owned by Turkish shipowner DITAS.
The scrubbers are manufactured by South Korean marine equipment maker Panasia.
The first delivery of the 25 MW scrubber (U-type hybrid mode) is due to take place in May 2019.
Originally a ship block manufacturer, Samkang M&T moved into shipbuilding in August 2016 when it won three 6,600 dwt chemical tankers from a subsidiary of Woolim Shipping. One of these vessels, Woo Hyuk, was delivered in July, with the other two to follow in October and January 2019.
DITAS, whose full name is Deniz İşletmeciliği ve Tankerciligi AS, (Maritime Management and Tanker Operations JSC), was set up as joint venture between Turkish state-owned refinery company İstanbul Petrol Rafinerisi, or IPRAS, the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, and Turkey’s national oil company Türkiye Petrolleri. DITAS carries out its shareholders’ shipping requirements.
DITAS now owns a fleet of 27 vessels, comprising Suezmax oil tankers, chemical/product tankers, and tugs.
The International Maritime Organization’s global sulphur cap, which will come into effect in 2020, restricts sulphur content in marine fuels to 0.5% from the current limit of 1%. Shipowners can choose to install scrubbers, burn low-sulphur fuel oil, or other fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Scrubbers remove sulphur from marine fuels as the bunkers are burned, but debate has surrounded their cost effectiveness.
In a recent interview with IHS Markit, CEO of Anglo-Eastern Group Bjørn Højgaard cited weight and stability issues with scrubbers.
On 28 August, Hong Kong-based bulk carrier owner Jinhui Shipping & Transportation said it was opting to burn low-sulphur fuel oil as it was unsure of the effectiveness of scrubbers.
However, others, such as Vale and Ciner Ship Management, are moving ahead with retrofitting plans.