Scrubber Deployment on Cruise Ships Spirals

CROE Scrubbers on Cruise ShipsA recent note on Passenger Ship Technology highlights the leading role CR Ocean Engineering is increasingly playing in the development and installation of Marine Scrubber Technology in the cruise ship industry.


“Elsewhere, CR Ocean Engineering has delivered a large order for Royal Caribbean – which marks its first entry into the cruise ship market. Seven cruise ships across the Millennium and Radiance classes have had the scrubbers installed, which are now being commissioned (getting the scrubbers up and operating). Once commissioned they go into full service. In a few months, all of them will be going into service.

There are currently an additional seven ships –all industrial – that are in operation in North America and Europe with CR Ocean Engineering scrubbers.

Explaining why Royal Caribbean chose CR Ocean Engineering, Nicholas Confuorto, CR Ocean Engineering’s president and chief operating officer said: “We were the only scrubber that would comfortably fit in their existing funnels due to our smaller diameter and height. This greatly reduces the installation costs. We are one of the smallest scrubbing systems available. CROE scrubbers can be hybrid, closed loop or open loop and they can be applied as a single engine “instream” or as “multistream” where multiple engines are combined into a single scrubber. Recently the market seems to demand more of the hybrid scrubbers because they provide more flexibility allowing the ship to operate anywhere.”

Speaking on the cruise refit, he said: “I hope this will open up additional doors for us.”

The company is in talks with other cruise operators, but is unable to give more details. The company also hopes to add ferry operators to its customer base in the near future.

Speaking as to the scrubber requirement, he said: “For vessels which spend 100 per cent of their time in ECA zones there is no question that installing scrubbers will save them money. The case is more borderline for those who spend less than 50 per cent of their time in an ECA. For these a more accurate evaluation needs to be conducted to make sure the payback is in line with company expectations. But this won’t last forever because it is expected that in 2020 all ships will be in a sulphur controlled area 100 per cent of the time (once the IMO Global 0.5 per cent sulphur requirement goes into effect). Additionally, the cost of low sulphur fuel is expected to go up by 2020. That will greatly increase the price differential between HFO and MGO. Bunker suppliers forecast that the cost difference between MDO and heavy fuel will be much higher. In 2020 we are expecting the IMO to move forward with the 0.5 per cent low sulphur and with that costs will go higher, as the supply and demand is such that the cost of fuel will go higher for low sulphur fuel, and much lower for heavier fuel, so we will see a big change and a move towards the cost saving scrubber option.”

“In October IMO will discuss the 2020 0.5 per cent sulphur fuel cap and hopefully agree that this is feasible to implement it – at that point, the shipping industry will greatly benefit by adding scrubbers and we will be ready for them. This year has been slow, as many people are waiting for the October decision and fuel prices are low. When the decision is made and the fuel prices rise as we get towards to the end of this year, we will see a big difference in scrubber demand.”

The IMO agreed on 28 October that the low sulphur limit would go ahead from 2020.

Mr Confuorto said that currently the company is using the slower market as an opportunity to better focus on developing further advancements to marine scrubbing designs. Mr Confuorto explained: “We are primarily improving our proprietary internals to make the scrubber even more efficient and hopefully smaller.”

Emphasising the importance of size, he said: “Many in the cruise industry are facing a constraint by the very tight funnel sizes. Many scrubbers are too large and require much reworking of the existing structures. Our existing scrubber system design is small, proven to be very reliable and delivers fantastic results. Any changes we may make will make that system even more in line with market demand.”

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