Panama awards certification to Hybrid SOx Scrubber System for ships


The Republic of Panama has awarded a certificate of compliance to a hybrid system that removes sulphur oxides (SOx) from the exhaust gas emitted by marine diesel engines.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha undertook test operations aboard an seabound ship of the newly developed Hybrid SOx Scrubber System for almost a year prior to the award.

This test unit is the first installation of a system jointly developed by MHI and MKK specifically for marine applications.

It is installed on K Line’s Drive Green Highway, a large-scale car carrier with capacity for 7,500 units.

The system had been undergoing verification testing since the ship was delivered in February 2016.

The test results indicate this is the first time Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK) has satisfied international guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems 2.

In October 2016, at a meeting of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), a decision was taken to tighten regulations on the sulphur content of marine fuels in all waters of the world except designated 'emission control areas' (ECA), from the current 3.5% limit to less than 0.5% starting 1 January 2020.

The Hybrid SOx Scrubber System is the first commercialised system in Japan to comply with the more stringent SOx emission regulations that took effect, starting with ECAs, in 2015.

The system comes with two modes: an open-loop mode in which seawater intake is sprayed directly on the exhaust gas; and a closed-loop mode in which fresh water is used as the cleaning water, and after the exhaust gas is cleaned, it is then neutralised using sodium hydroxide (NaOH), following which water is then sprayed on the exhaust gas again.

"The Hybrid SOx Scrubber System is the first commercialised system in Japan to comply with the more stringent SOx emission regulations that took effect, starting with ECAs, in 2015."

This hybrid system allows stable cleaning, unaffected by the properties of the seawater, in the navigation area.

Equipment auxiliary to the engines is usually installed within a ship, but the core components of the Hybrid SOx Scrubber System can be contained in an ISO shipping container. This modular packaging implies that the major system components can be installed on an open deck, which not only allows the space within the ship to be used efficiently, but also helps reduce installation time.

Furthermore, as the container package is relatively easy to remove and transfer to a different vessel, installation on ageing ships is facilitated.


Image: Ambassador Diaz of Panama presents the certificate. Photo: courtesy of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd.