Stena Bulk has announced plans to install exhaust gas scrubbers on 16 ships to comply with the January 2020 IMO sulfur cap deadline.

The installation is set to cost $55m and will involve ten IMOIIMAXes and five Suezmaxes. One standard MR will be equipped with the after-treatment system.

The Open Loop Hybrid Ready with Water Cleaning scrubbers remove the sulfur and particles from the exhaust.

According to the IMO Sulphur cap regulation, the sulphur content in fuel oil used on-board worldwide vessels will be limited to a maximum of 0.50% from the existing 3.50%.

Under the new regulation, the global shipping fleet will have to either install scrubbers onboard or use a compliant fuel with the maximum sulphur content of 0.50% by 1 January.

“By installing scrubbers, we will secure greater availability of fuel for our vessels.”

Stena Bulk president and CEO Erik Hånell said: “We evaluated the different options and came to the conclusion that, for our business, by installing scrubbers, we will secure greater availability of fuel for our vessels and by so limit our exposure to not finding the right fuel around the world and by that stay flexible in our trading.

“Even doing so, we know it will require some changes and probably massive challenges in the planning logistically. We will, however, prepare ourselves best possible so that we can secure at least the same level of support to our customers as today.”

Stena Bulk said that, going forward, the company’s digital platform, Orbit, will be able to confirm global supply to optimise the planning in its bunker operations.