Up to 700 remaining scrubber retrofits could be shelved

Up to 700 remaining scrubber retrofits are “vulnerable” to postponement or cancellation, according to new research from Clarkson Research Services.

Scrubber retrofit activity has slumped this year, initially due to the coronavirus in China where the majority of the installations have been taking place, and then latterly as the fuel price spread between high and low sulphur fuel oil has stayed stubbornly in double-digit figures, far below the $150 differential cited last year as the outlier in terms of payback times. Moreover, shipowners, anxious at the deteriorating state of the world economy, are cutting back on as many ship equipment outlays as possible.

Clarksons data shows just 0.6% of the global fleet in gross ton terms – less than 100 vessels – is now going through a scrubber retrofit, down from 1.8% at the start of the year.

“The remaining schedule of c.700 retrofitsts may be ‘vulnerable’ to postponement or cancellation,” Clarksons warned in its latest weekly report.

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.
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