In fact, two scrubber manufacturers, Clean Marine and FMSI, backed by Frontline and Navig8 Group have completed a merger with the aim to create one of the world’s biggest suppliers of exhaust gas cleaning kits, as planned earlier in October.
In October, 18 companies from the cruise and commercial shipping industry have created the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 to promote the use of scrubbers to comply with the IMO 0.5% global sulphur cap in 2020.
CSA 2020 aimed to inform the industry, relevant authorities, organizations and the public about the environmental benefits of scrubbers.
The members of CSA 2020 included Cargill, DHT Holdings, Navig8 Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Eagle Bulk Shipping, Frontline, Golden Ocean Group Limited, Blystad Group, Hunter Group ASA, Spliethoff, Star Bulk Carriers, Carnival Corporation, Grimaldi Group, Okeanis Eco Tankers, Oldendorff Carriers, Safe Bulkers, Torm and Trafigura.
It is now said that the Norway-based group, which will keep the Clean Marine name aims to offer “significant capacity, fast production times, project management and global after-sales services” and it also aspires to offer financing to its customers through affiliated companies.
Clean Marine chief executive and founder Nils Hoy-Petersen, a former Klaveness director, commented that “We are now even better equipped to satisfy our customers’ requirements and meet the increased demand for scrubbers following the implementation of new limits on sulfur emission that came into effect on 1 January 2020.”
The Chief executive added that
The merger will provide additional scale and ensure continued investment to allow us to develop new products to help our customers increase their fuel efficiency and decrease their environmental footprint.
According to the company, the move went smoothly, with all planned units in operation.
It has been previously said that the two companies have in order about 260 scrubber systems in total, while the combined company will also enhance its R&D efforts to develop competitive green technologies for shipowners as well as for other industries.
Delivery times are expected to shorten after the merger and the group further plans to increase resources focused on research and development to offer more products.
The John Fredriksen-controlled tanker giant Frontline are expected to hold a 14.5% stake in the combined business; it had 30% of FMSI, the former Feen Marine.
It is reported that Fredriksen was initially skeptical about the installation of scrubbers, but Frontline changed its attitude to the method of compliance with the new international low-sulfur fuel rules in 2018.
The company bought into Feen Marine that year as part of its retrofit program.
Further to this, Clean Marine is currently working on turnkey projects at shipbuilder PaxOcean in Batam, Indonesia; it already has a fabrication site at Batam; together with a “highly viable” financing scheme, the company believes this will represent a “unique offering to shipowners.”
Hoy-Petersen has stated that
The fuel spread is healthy, giving a strong incentive for scrubber installations and we see an increase in number of enquiries from shipowners.