Tanker analysts at Braemar ACM are suggesting the price differential between low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and blended fuels is less than $200 per metric tonne, but even so, scrubber payback time will be fast.
“Initial indications for the blended fuels price spreads versus LSFO are looking at about $180/190mt differential – which is not as big a differential as first expected,” Braemar ACM noted in a weekly tanker report.
However, even with this differential a VLCC should be able to pay off the price of a scrubber within 18 months, the analysts noted.
According to the International Energy Agency, IMO’s global sulphur cap rules, which kick in on January 1, impact around 4.5m barrels per day of bunker fuel, equivalent to 4.5% of global oil demand.
The 18-month payback time for a scrubber on a VLCC could lengthen however during next year if the price differential continues to narrow.
In a poll carried on this site earlier this year, just 19% of readers felt the difference in price between high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) and LSFO would be more than $100 per tonne by the end of 2020.