Scorpio Tankers has signed a set of agreements, worth approximately $79.6m, with unnamed third parties to purchase exhaust gas cleanings systems or scrubbers for 52 of its vessels.

The company intends to equip 42 of the vessels with scrubbers next year and ten of the vessels in 2020.

Scrubbers will feature a ‘hybrid-ready’ design to enable themselves to be upgraded to a ‘closed-loop’ configuration in the future.

Under the arrangement, Scorpio Tankers has an option to buy scrubbers for up to 28 additional vessels in 2020.

The agreements are part of Scorpio Tankers’ previously announced programme to install exhaust gas cleaning systems across its vessel fleet.

The company signed letters of intent with suppliers, engineering firms, and ship repair facilities for the purchase and installation of scrubbers on all of its tankers in October.

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The deals were subject to the execution of definitive documentation.

Scorpio Tankers is expected to spend between $1.5m-$2.2m to buy and install each of the systems.

“Scrubbers will feature a ‘hybrid-ready’ design to enable themselves to be upgraded to a ‘closed-loop’ configuration in the future.”

Scorpio Tankers chairman and CEO Emanuele Lauro then said: “We have long maintained that the IMO 2020 regulations are both disruptive to the shipping industry generally as well as a powerful demand catalyst for product tankers.

“Although many well-capitalised and publicly listed shipowners can source capital and publicise their intentions to pursue Scrubbers, most of our industry cannot, and will rely on cleaner fuels to the benefit of tonne-mile demand for product tankers.

“Irrespective, our focus remains on operating the most competitive fleet in our marketplace, and this has led us to carefully evaluate and ultimately opt for the benefits of fitting hybrid-ready scrubbers on approximately 90 ships in our fleet.”

Scorpio Tankers primarily provides marine transportation of petroleum products worldwide.