28th November 2019
The marine industry is now 5 weeks from the IMO 2020 low sulphur fuel deadline which comes into force on 1st January 2020. As was predicted, shipyard retrofitting of EGCS (scrubber) units had started to peak from July 2019. Shipyard space and availability in China remains a premium and this is likely to remain so until the 2nd quarter of 2020 and beyond as the BWTS (ballast water treatment systems) retrofitting will begin to ramp up as well. With the recent spike in VLCC daily charter rates, some owners have also postponed the installation of scrubbers until 1st and 2nd quarters of 2020.
Shipyards in China are also requesting owners to postpone installation of EGCS, as many of the yards are overbooked with ships double and triple banked at most facilities. These congested shipyards will likely lead to delays in the overall installation and commissioning of the scrubbers. An estimated 30-day installation can run into 40 plus days or more due to; berth availability on vessel’s arrival, dock space, extra ship movements at different stages of the retrofit, manpower shortages, limited resources at the shipyards (cranes, workshops, storage etc.), material availability and logistics.
Loss of business and off-hire costs for the owners/charterers have and will continue to increase. Shipyards are actively trying to minimise the delays but quality of installation should not be compromised as a result of time pressures.
TMC are actively involved with EGCS projects and can offer technical advice and analysis from practical experience and its EGCS database, to the marine industry.