This means that a very high proportion of ships plying their trade will resort to using compliant fuels. At the moment, only a handful of new buildings are committed to the dual fuel approach, although the number is growing. At the same time, refiners will be eager to increase sales of VLSFO as they will continue to have a disposal problem for their heavier residues, and most players are expecting scrubbers to be a short-lived solution, if ultimately a solution at all. If the pendulum swings too far one way or the other, we could easily see shipowners with scrubbers happy or extremely concerned. Ship owners are also unsure about what future controls might be brought in on open-loop scrubbers, and what costs could be involved in disposing of unwanted Sulphur deposits associated with the closed-loops. BW have announced the retrofitting of 4 older ships to run on dual fuel, but the exercise is expensive, albeit BW should be commended for the environmental pluses of the exercise. I think ship owners in the LPG space are saying they are now unlikely to make the decision to fit scrubbers to their VLGCs, as the waiting time involved in getting delivery of the scrubber units, plus the price itself, have gone up recently, increasing the likely payback period on the investment. On the other side of the coin LPG still has a number of technical issues to get over, including the wide range of LPG mixtures and purities found on the market, with contaminants present that could cause engine damage. This issue is going to grow more as controls to limit carbon dioxide emissions come into play, and decisions to ignore methane release could prove to be the wrong choice.
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