Despite a majority of panelists at today’s Maritime CEO Forum tanker session professing to be fans of scrubbers, all executives admitted that their shelf life will be brief. Taking place at the iconic five-star Fullerton Hotel in the heart of Singapore, the panel featured Mark O’Neil, the president of Columbia Shipmanagement, as moderator with Kenny Rogers, the head Aurora Tankers, Rajesh Unni, a director at Global United Shipping, Pankaj Khanna, a board member at Heidmar and Lars Malmbratt, general manager of Stena Bulk Singapore.
Khanna detailed his boss, George Economou’s $350m outlay to install scrubbers on all his ships, saying he was bullish of the financial advantage this would derive.
Rodgers said that for Aurora, a subsidiary of IMC, the decision was a commerial one to install the technology on eight newbuilds delivering soon, but he cautioned had the ships delivered in 2022 or 2023 the company would not have opted for scrubbers.
Malbratt, meanwhile, said Stena Bulk was not going “full blast” for the technology, deciding to retrofit up to 17 ships, starting in the next fortnight.
Unni was the lone opponent, saying he was still not convinced from both a commercial and scientific standpoint on the controversial exhaust gas cleaning systems, saying the technology was still very primitive with significant maintainance and operational issues.
Malbratt spoke for the panel when he said: “We shoud look beyong the sulphur issue, shortly we can put this behind us.”
Quite so, agreed Rodgers telling delegates: “Scrubbers are just a temporary solution.”
A full report on the tanker panel will appear in the next issue of Maritime CEO magazine. Splash will be carrying brief reports from each session all week.
Maritime CEO Forum Singapore is sponsored by AVS Global Ship Supply, Cobham, Cockett Marine Oil, Dualog, Inmarsat, Liberian Registry, Lloyd’s Register, Marlink, ShipServ, Veritas Petroleum Services and Wilhelmsen Ship Management.