“Scrubbers part of Ridgebury Tankers’ IMO 2020 plan”
Bob Burke digests IMO 2020 debate while Nikolas Tsakos takes a trip back in time.
December 5th, 2018 19:10 GMT
by Andy Pierce
Ridgebury Tankers is placing scrubbers on some of its larger ships in preparation for IMO 2020 legislation, its chief executive says.
Bob Burke told a Nordea shipping and offshore conference in London today that addressing stack emissions was one of the last major environmental issues for the industry.
“We have scrubbers on some of the bigger ships and the medium age ships,” Burke said.
“On the older ones we don’t and on the MRs we don’t.”
While he did not reveal further details, Ridgebury has eight suezmax tankers on the water built between 2001 and 2013.
It also has seven VLCCs built in 2000 and 2001, purchased for two specific asset-play projects.
Burke said everybody had different thoughts on the economics of scrubbers and how wide the fuel price spread would be when the new rules kick in.
However, he reasoned the retrospective debate on if fitting the equipment was the right call could be as intense as today’s discussion on what the correct decision should be.
“If I was the only one with scrubbers I would keep all the benefit,” he said. “If everybody gets a scrubber we have all just thrown away $3m or $4m a piece. What good is that?”
Burke added: “If I have a ship in a certain port and there are two people with scrubbers we are going to beat each-others’ brains out and the trader will take most of the benefit.
“If I’m in a port and the only one with a scrubber, I’m going to get most of the benefit.”
IMO 2020 sickness
At the same event Greek shipowner Nikolas Tsakos compared concerns around the incoming IMO 2020 legislation with the millennium bug, which caused widespread panic on computing circles at the end of the 1990s before amounting to nothing when the calendars turned over to 2000.
The Tsakos Energy Navigation chief executive said the incoming emissions rules had left shipowners dealing with what should have been a problem for the refineries.
“I think the industry is dealing with it as best it can,” he said.
“Hopefully, at the end of the day, I have a strong feeling 2020 will be very similar to the millennium bug, so it will not be such a serious situation and we will have enough distillates and point five [percent sulphur fuel],” he quipped during a panel discussion on the tanker market.
Burke took a contrasting view after digesting arguments from his fellow panelists.
“If I have a dietary problem it’s not the grocery store’s problem, it’s my problem. I can’t say to the grocery store you have to make gluten free food for me,” he said.
“Hopefully the industry will see an opportunity and produce gluten free food and eventually there will be a competitive market and everybody will be happy. I can’t say you have to do this for me.
“We are forced to emit 0.5% [fuel] out of our stacks and it’s up to us to figure out how to do that,” he said.