In order to manage complying with the new MARPOL Annex VI sulfur limits in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), Copenhagen, Denmark headquartered Clipper Group is going to be converting one HFO tank in everyone of its six 30,000 DWT Trader-type bulk carriers into MGO type tanks.

Clipper comments that the conversion process will reduce a lot of the unnecessary costs related to frequent bunker operations and delays.

"Simultaneously," Clipper says, "it helps make the vessels a lot more sustainable and eco-friendly, and thus compliant with all current legislation and regulations. Additionally, the physical separation of piping basically makes it highly unlikely to mix the two fuel grades by mistake."

One such converted vessel is the Clipper Tarpon. Before the conversion process, her MGO tank capacity was in the amount of 143.4 cu.m., after completing the conversion, however, her MGO capacity has become 564.4 cu. m. This improvement now enables the vessel to sail for longer periods of time without having to make additional bunker calls inside certain emission control areas.

Clipper Fleet Management, the company’s in-house technical department, docked the tanker in a Turkish shipyard for a time period of roughly three weeks during which her piping was also optimized into separate HFO and MGO systems. The conversion to MGO tanks itself took approximately eight days and so it didn’t add to the scheduled docking time.