Turkish yard spent record 149 days installing a scrubber

When marketed in the run-up to the global sulphur cap, scrubber retrofits were meant to take as little as a fortnight in a yard to complete. This has proven to be very wide of the mark, and, for once, the coronavirus cannot be cited as the sole reason for this additional supply chain kink for shipping to absorb with the worst offender among yards examined by Alphaliner hailing from Turkey where one ship was in dock for nearly five months.

Alphaliner analysis shows the number of containerships that are currently out of action due to scrubber retrofits has increased in the last three weeks to reach a new high of 111 units for 1.02m teu as of February 21.

MSC is the liner with most ships in dock at the moment with 33 ships undergoing scrubber retrofits.

“Retrofits on MSC ships have been severely delayed and seven of the carrier’s vessels have clocked over a hundred days at various Chinese yards. The longest stay thereof is for the 19,437 teu MSC Erica at 175 days idle, including over 130 days docked at CSIC Tianjin,” Alphaliner stated in its most recent weekly report. Splash understands, however, that MSC is using the time in dock to carry out other modifications on its fleet beyond simply installing exhaust gas cleaning kits.

While 130 days docked is a long time, it is not the lengthiest time-out because of a scrubber retrofit. The record holder for a scrubber-related yard stay, according to Alphaliner, is a 2,566 teu charter market ship, which spent 149 days at a Turkish yard and clocked a total of 192 days off hire when positioning and waiting time is included.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Just for seeing the perspective in this.
    According to other studies 2019 with in the Tanker segment experienced global average of 41 days for a scrubber installation.
    At FAYARD A/S ( in Denmark we have installed soon 78 scrubbers having an average installation time of 17 days per vessel. For the most complex scrubber installation we used 30 days on the vessel and for the fastest we used 7 days for the vessel. Largest installation so far is an app 54MW U-type scrubber. The performance presented is in the range from Open Loop inline scrubber system to closed loop zero discharge U type scrubber system. Scrubbers are alle Owner delivered til yard for installation.

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