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Scrubbers – An economic and ecological assessment

  Germany's Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) announced the results of a study it says shows that "scrubbers are no solution to air pollution from ships." The recent tightening of the fuel sulphur limits for fuel used in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) requires the use of fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1% in these regions, or a technology that can reduce emissions to an equivalent level, from January, 1st 2015. Most low sulphur fuels are distillates (e.g. marine gasoil MGO, which are more expensive than the residual fuels that are traditionally used by ships (e.g. heavy fuel oil HFO)). Exhaust gas scrubbers, in combination with the use of HFO, have been accepted as an alternative means to lower sulphur emissions. Four different types of scrubbers are available today: Seawater scrubbers (open loop) utilize untreated seawater, using the natural alkalinity of the seawater to neutralize the sulphur from exhaust gases. Freshwater scrubbers (closed loop) are not dependent on the type of the water the vessel is operating in, because the exhaust gases are neutralized with caustic soda, which is added to freshwater in a closed system. Hybrid scrubbers give the possibility to either use closed loop or ...

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Clipper adds MGO tanks to meet new emission regulations

  From 1 January 2015, MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14.4 entered into full effect. This regulation refers to new and stricter requirements on the maximum sulphur content of fuels used by cargo vessels in Emission Control Areas (ECA). More precisely, in the ECA it is not permitted to use fuel which contains a sulphur percentage over 0.1%. The only fuel type that currently offers such a low sulphur percentage is Marine Gas Oil (MGO) whereas most vessels normally use the somewhat cheaper Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).  In order to comply with the new sulphur emission regulations, Clipper decided to convert one HFO tank on six of our 30,000 dwt Trader-type bulk carriers into MGO tanks. The conversion reduces unnecessary costs of frequent bunker operations and delays. Simultaneously, it makes the vessels more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and thereby compliant with current legislation. As an extra benefit, the physical separation of piping makes it very unlikely to mix the two fuel grades by mistake. One of the converted vessels is Clipper Tarpon. Before the conversion, her MGO tank capacity was 143.4 m3. After the conversion she could contain an impressive 564.4 m3. This improvement allows the vessel to sail for a ...

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Steamship Club advises on ULS change-over operations

The Steamship P&I Club has issued a Risk Alert regarding Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil Change-over Procedures. The Club warns that some boilers may not have been originally designed to burn lighter fuel types and may need modification. From 1 January 2015, for ships without an approved and effective exhaust gas scrubber operating within an Emission Control Area (ECA), the sulphur content of fuel oil used should not exceed 0.10% by mass (10 ppm). All main and auxiliary engines and boilers are affected by the Regulation, meaning that vessels using heavy fuel oil must have completed the change-over process and operate on ultra-low sulphur fuel upon entering an ECA. Note: Prior to 1 January 2020, the sulphur content limit of fuel oil shall not apply to ships operating in the North American ECA or the United States Caribbean Sea area that were built on or before 1 August 2011 and are powered by propulsion boilers that were not originally designed for continued operation on marine distillate fuel or natural gas. Ships operating within the European ECA have become familiar with existing European legislation where the maximum sulphur content of fuels used by ships at berth has not been allowed to ...

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