CSA2020: Scrubber Choice Still a Good One Despite Oil Price Tumble

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By The Maritime Executive 03-23-2020 07:37:58

The effect of the COVID-19 virus on global demand for oil and gas, along with an ongoing price war that has sent oil prices tumbling at an unprecedented rate.

According to an impact analysis from Rystad Energy, exploration and production companies are likely to reduce project sanctioning by up to $131 billion, but there is a potential consequence for shipowners meeting the IMO 2020 sulfur cap requirements and the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA2020) is defending the choice of scrubber installation over the use of very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO).

Ian Adams, Executive Director of the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020, said: “Given the unprecedented circumstances we all find ourselves, we should not dwell too much on the narrowing fuel price spread. Bunker prices will undoubtedly be distorted due to the difficult and challenging post-coronavirus market, exacerbated by the spat between Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

He says media reports concerning the narrowing of fuel prices should not be a deterrent to the wider take-up of marine exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), as the technology remains the optimal, most effective means of meeting MARPOL Annex VI requirements. The use of EGCS also avoids the uncertainty surrounding the quality and availability of VLSFO.

“Existing and new users of EGCS have invested in the technology first and foremost to reduce the impact of sulfur emissions on human health,” says Adams. “Indeed, with members of the Alliance reporting that their installations are reducing sulfur emissions down to less than 0.10 percent, well below the mandatory 0.50 percent, then their investments can be considered not only sensible but successful.”