Scrubbers for bulker quartet

The work on 'Fitnes' and three other bulk carriers represents the biggest contract for Pella Sietas since it was acquired by Russian owners last year The work on 'Fitnes' and three other bulk carriers represents the biggest contract for Pella Sietas since it was acquired by Russian owners last year

Pella Sietas Shipyard in Hamburg has begun installation of Alfa Laval scrubbers on four German bulkers – the first retrofits of this kind to be undertaken at the former J.J. Sietas yard since it was acquired by Russian owners last year, reports Germany correspondent Tom Todd.

The work, costing a reported €3-3.5 million per vessel, involves the installation of PureSOx equipment. It is said to be the biggest contract won by the Russian group since it took over Germany’s oldest private shipyard in early 2014.

The 33,174dwt charter ships Fitnes, Beltnes and Bulknes are being converted in two-week rotation for Reederei HJH Shipmanagement in Cadenberge. The 175.6m self-loaders have MaK 8M 43 engines of 7.3MW. The fourth ship is the 26,100dwt Sandnes, smaller but with the same 3,000t/h loading capacity.

Alfa Laval reported the scrubbers were single outlet PureSOx hybrid systems of 54,500kg/h and 2.6m wide, 8.3m high and 5m long. The Swedish maker said that regardless of whether open-loop, closed-loop or hybrid scrubber configuration was chosen, fuel cost savings with PureSOx were substantial.

That apparently played a role for HJH which was quoted as saying operational costs were the main reason for the scrubber installation. Reports said its fleet consumes about 26,000 tonnes of fuel a year and that HJH believed the use of clean marine gas oil to meet Europe’s latest emission regulations would prove prohibitive.

Pella Sietas said one advantage of choosing it over other yards for the conversion was that the four ships were built at J.J. Sietas between 2005 and 2010. This had meant plans are on file and preparations could be made without disturbing the ships, thus shortening vessel time-out.

The latest German scrubber installations parallel appeals by German maritime organisations, including the ship owners’ association VDR. They want the Berlin Government to support ship owners trying to raise finance for scrubbers on existing ships to meet the new emission rules.

That appeal comes as the EU awards €6.3 million in funding to German-Danish ferry operator Scandlines for scrubbers in its two new ferries Berlin and Copenhagen

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