‘The Idea that Open Loop Scrubbers Will Be Banned in Ports is Fake’: Nick Confuorto CROE COO

CR Marine Exhaust Gas ScrubberOriginally published 5/13/2019 on SeaNews. By Baibhav Mishra —The issue of banning open loop scrubbers is being propagated to scare people away from scrubbers, according to Nick Confuorto, president and chief operations officer for CR Ocean Engineering, and a keynote speaker at Maritime Week Americas.

“The number of ports likely to forbid open loop scrubbers is just a drop in the ocean but is being overplayed as if it were the majority of ports,” he said as the industry prepares to gather at Maritime Week Americas where Confuorto will be delivering a conference speech.

Maritime Week Americas, at Fort Lauderdale from 20 – 24 May, brings together leading industry figures from the maritime sector across North and South America and includes a three-day conference. This year’s event is likely to be especially lively as the issue of fuel prices and environmental intervention is so pressing for the shipping industry, as Nick explains:

“There are two key issues right now: the price of fuel, and whether or not open loop scrubbers are acceptable.

“The new 2020 regulation to reduce sulphur emissions from shipping represents a very positive environmental improvement for the maritime industry, however using lower sulphur fuels, or heavy fuels but with a scrubber in place, both represent a dramatic step change, and the question of what price ship owners will pay for this improvement if they chose not to deploy a scrubber solution won’t be known until January 2020.”

Nick, who is also chairman of the Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGSA), explains that is already too late for ship owners to fit scrubbers in time for the January deadline:

“Large corporations have been putting scrubbers in place to be ahead of the legislation. All industrial sectors operate in a competitive environment so, like businesses the world over, many shipping companies are delaying making a decision for as long as possible, however the reality is that the decision has already been made for them.

“There isn’t now time to fit a scrubber for January, so about ninety per cent of all marine vessels, all those without a scrubber, will have to buy the new lower sulphur fuels at whatever price it is come January”.

Nick will present his views to the Maritime Week Americas conference audience on Wednesday 22nd May.

Sea News, May 13