Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) yesterday announced that it has entered into a joint study to equip in-service vessels with SOX scrubber system, to ensure compliance with upcoming international environmental regulations. The scrubbers eliminate sulfur dioxide (SOX) from exhaust gas, allowing vessels to meet international treaty standards for SOX emissions without using low-sulfur fuel.
Also participating in the project are Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Sanwa Dock Co., Ltd., and Wärtsilä Japan Ltd.
The companies plan to address the SOX emissions issue in advance of a revised international treaty (*) that places stronger restrictions on exhaust emissions from vessels. The study targets car carriers, because their structure makes it more technically challenging to add scrubber systems, compared to other types of vessels. It also focuses on ships already in service, which are more difficult to equip with scrubbers than newbuilding vessels.
The project participants will develop detailed specifications for the scrubber system and use the latest technologies such as 3D scanning to promote operational efficiency in installation process. In addition, the joint approach with ClassNK and Wärtsilä Japan allows for more diversified study, aiming for results that will streamline the development of ship class rules and guidelines.
The MOL Group continually takes a proactive stance in development and introduction of technologies that enhance safety and reduce the environmental impact of its operations, while ensuring reliable, cost-effective transport services.
(*) SOX emission regulations
SOX emissions from vessels are addressed in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Treaty Annex VI (prevention of air pollution), and vessels are required to use bunker fuel with a sulfur content of 0.1% or less in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) such as North America. In general sea areas (all excluding ECAs), the treaty is expected to reduce the maximum sulfur content of bunker in use from the current standard 3.5% to 0.5% in 2020 or 2025. The regulation will be applied to vessels already in service.