As such, it signed an agreement with Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry on a detailed schedule within 2019 for the installation of Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubbers in its mostly medium size vessels.

All preparatory engineering works are in progress targeting to initiate the first installation in second quarter of 2019 and the last installation in the fourth quarter of 2019, opting for having about half of Company’s fleet operated with HFO and the other half, consisting mainly of smaller more fuel efficient vessels, with compliant low sulfur fuels.

Minimization of down time is expected to be achieved through:

i) prefabrication of piping and foundation,
ii) selection of shipyard with track record in the specific system,
iii) installation in group of sister vessels which will permit shorter times after the lead vessel and
iv) installation for ten vessels, during their scheduled dry-docking in 2019 which is part of their special survey.

Contractually, the expected down time for scrubber installation is 32 days for the first vessel and 30 days for the remaining vessels, while the down time during a scheduled dry docking as part of special survey is about 15 to 20 days.

During the same period, ERMA First Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS) will also be installed, achieving compliance with IMO regulation Marpol Annex VI, BWM Convention and EPA regulation for BWTS.

The scrubber and the related expenditure for prefabrication and installation is expected to be in aggregate of about $2.0 million per medium size vessel. Loukas Barmparis, President of the Company, commented:

The retrofit of scrubbers is a demanding job involving the selection of reliable and durable equipment from manufacturer with extensive track record, detailed engineering studies and high quality of installation which should lead to reliable operations for years to come... We are happy to cooperate with Cosco and Alfa Laval for this project and we believe that we will enjoy a short pay-back period for this investment based on price differential between HFO and compliant fuels after January 1st, 2020.