In anticipation of new IMO sulphur cap rules going into effect next year, dry bulk shipping company Safe Bulkers announced that as of August 2019, it has completed 25 percent of its planned installation of exhaust gas scrubbers for its vessels.
The Monaco-based company says five of its ships—the MV Martine, MV Venus Horizon, MV Venus History, MV Andreas K and MV Pedhoulas Cherry—have now been outfitted with the scrubbers. Fifteen more vessels are scheduled to receive new exhaust gas cleaning systems by the first quarter of 2020, adding up to half the company’s total fleet.
According to new rules set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), starting in 2020, ships will be required to use fuel containing no more than 0.5 percent sulphur, down from the current 3.5 percent standard, in an attempt to reduce harmful emissions.
As an alternative, ships using the old fuel must be outfitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems, or “scrubbers,” to remove the sulphur from the vessel’s exhaust.
According to their latest financial report, Safe Bulkers has spent USD $20.5 million thus far on environmental improvements for its vessels.
In addition to installing the exhaust scrubbers, part of that budget is also being allocated to a number of ballast water treatment system installations.