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Slow scrubber retrofits remove 3.6pc of box ship fleet from market

SOME 839,100 TEU of containership capacity, equivalent to 3

Slow scrubber retrofits remove 3.6pc of box ship fleet from market

SOME 839,100 TEU of containership capacity, equivalent to 3

06 December 2019 - 19:00

SOME 839,100 TEU of containership capacity, equivalent to 3.6 per cent of the global box ship fleet, have been taken out of service to be retrofitted with scrubbers to meet the International Maritime Organisation's new low sulphur rule that caps sulphur content in marine fuel to 0.5 per cent from January.

According to analyst Alphaliner, the retrofitting of scrubbers, mainly on large containerships, has seen the idle box ship fleet expand to 225 ships totalling 1.32 million TEU as of November 25.



Reflecting the large size of vessel being retrofitted with scrubbers, the 839,100 TEU of capacity that has been removed from the market for the installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems accounts for 83 ships, equating to an average size of 10,000 TEU per vessel, reported Colchester's Seatrade Maritime News.



In part, the idle fleet has swelled due to the scrubber retrofits taking more time than originally expected. While manufacturers touted installations times of as little as 30 days, Alphaliner said the average yard stay for containerships that had completed scrubber installations was 58 days, excluding waiting and repositioning time.



'Owners are reporting significant delays at shipyards which are currently straining to cope with the large number of retrofit projects prior to the implementation of the new IMO 2020 regulations due to limited access to trained labour and subcontractors,' Alphaliner said in its weekly newsletter.



The number of idle containerships does not include 19 vessels undergoing general repairs during scrubber installations and a further 15 waiting to enter yards.


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