Genco Shipping and Trading has unveiled plans to install exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) on 17 of its Capesize vessels in order to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) upcoming 0.5% sulphur fuel regulation.

The plan also includes options for installation of scrubbers on 15 additional minor bulk vessels.

The remaining vessels in Genco’s fleet are expected to run on compliant, low sulphur fuel beginning in 2020, when the new 0.5% sulphur fuel regulation comes into effect, to reduce the sulphur content in fuel to 0.5% from the current limit of 3.5%.

Installations of the scrubbers are expected to be completed next year, prior to the 1 January 2020 deadline, with an estimated cost of around $2m each.

Genco is currently in talks with several lenders to fund the installation of the scrubbers.

The company added that it will continue to carry out its previously announced fleet renewal programme intended at selling older, less fuel-efficient vessels, and reinvest the capital in high specification, fuel-efficient vessels to further lower emissions.

“Our portfolio approach is aimed at improving our environmental footprint, maximising shareholder returns and reducing fuel costs in an evolving marine fuel environment.”

Genco Shipping and Trading CEO John Wobensmith said: “Following the recent addition of six modern, high specification dry bulk vessels to our fleet, and during a time when we continue to execute our fleet renewal strategy, we are pleased to announce Genco’s comprehensive plan for IMO 2020.

“Our portfolio approach is aimed at improving our environmental footprint, maximising shareholder returns and reducing fuel costs in an evolving marine fuel environment.

“Based on extensive evaluation and analysis, we plan to fit our Capesize vessels with scrubbers given their trading patterns and higher fuel consumption, which we expect to result in a very attractive payback period.

“Options to install scrubbers on 15 minor bulk vessels will also provide the company with the flexibility to react to market conditions as they develop.”

Genco currently operates a fleet of 17 Capesize, five Panamax, six Ultramax, 21 Supramax, one Handymax, and 14 Handysize vessels.