North American Tankers shuns scrubbers for 2020 compliance

North American Tankers shuns scrubbers for 2020 compliance
NAT’s double hull oil tanker, Nordic Zenith. Image courtesy of NAT

Scrubbers are not a solution for Nordic American Tankers (NAT), the company has announced, preferring alternative methods for compliance with the IMO’s 2020 global sulphur cap.

NAT sees the increasing number of ports prohibiting or imposing strict requirements on the use of scrubbers as too greater risk. NAT has therefore decided not to use scrubbers “based upon a conservative financial policy.”

Late last year, Norway stated that it was considering a complete ban on scrubbers on ships operating in the World Heritage Fjords.

There are concerns that the Norwegian Maritime Authority will extend this ban on scrubbers.

Other ports have also banned the use of open-loop scrubbers from January 1, 2020 including China, Singapore, and Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

Other means of compliance include 0.5 per cent fuel blends, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or alternative fuels. Presently, there is some concern around the availability and compatibility of 0.5 per cent fuel blends from 2020, which has led some shipowners to opt for scrubbers as a ‘safe’ solution. Danish shipping company Maersk stated late last year that it would invest US $80 million into scrubbers and earlier this year announced a total of $263 million would be invested into scrubbers, despite originally stating that it did not see scrubbers as a long-term solution.

Other companies recently announcing scrubber installations include Safe Bulkers, NYK, HMM.