ABS publishes scrubber systems advisory for ships

2 May 2013 (Last Updated May 2nd, 2013 18:30)

US-based marine classification firm ABS has released an advisory on the use of exhaust gas scrubber systems to help vessel owners and operators assess the use of exhaust gas scrubbers, as well as meet stringent low sulfur fuel requirements.

US-based marine classification firm ABS has released an advisory on the use of exhaust gas scrubber systems to help vessel owners and operators assess the use of exhaust gas scrubbers, as well as meet stringent low sulfur fuel requirements.

The advisory is intended to help owners and operators understand the impact of the regulations and properly assess the available technologies for their fleet.

In order to meet emission requirements, many Emission Control Areas currently use fuel switching, which ABS said may not be a viable option in the future.

According to ABS, options to address the emission requirements include the use of exhaust gas scrubber systems, higher priced low sulfur fuels and alternative fuels.

ABS vice president for operational and environmental performance Howard Fireman said the advisory underlines relevant regulatory and technical considerations that should be taken into account when making decisions on how to fulfil the emissions requirements.

"Owners and operators mindful of stringent low sulfur fuel oil requirements are seeking cost-effective solutions that best meet their expected operating profile," Fireman said.

"The first step towards compliance is to develop a thorough understanding of regulations and then review available technologies. Once the options are identified, owners and operators must find the most cost-effective solution that fits within their expected operating profile and ABS is here to assist with such techno-economic analysis."

ABS has already published the ‘Fuel Switching Advisory Notice’ and the ‘Guide for Propulsion and Auxiliary Systems for Gas Fueled Ships’ to help assess and develop solutions to meet emissions requirements.

IMO reduced the sulfur fuel limit to 3.5% from 1 January 2012 and plans to further reduce the global sulfur limit to 0.5% from 1 January 2020.