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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Houston – Focus Session: Technical Issues in Shipping

Presentations in the technical session were given by Dr. Keith Michel (Chairman of Herbert Engineering) and Dr. Rudolph Kassinger (Det Norske Veritas Petroleum).The two presentations gave independent expert opinions on the various alternative measures that the IMO might consider during the revision process of MARPOL Annex VI in reducing the sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions from ships. The former presentation explored design, operational aspects and the various costs of using after-treatment technologies, while the latter presentation was looking at the type of fuels and the extent to which the type and quality of fuels used could influence and facilitate emission reductions from ship engines.


The discussions and dialogue that followed added more data on the complex issue of reducing air emissions, i.a.:


-         The large space needed to install scrubbers is extremely challenging (some of the scrubbers tested on auxiliaries onboard ships are 6 m high and 3.5m in diameter).

-         The cost of retrofitting could initially be as high as USD 10 mill but, if retrofitting in series, could be expected to be around USD 3 mill.

-         The time required to retrofit scrubbers could be as long as 3 months.

-         The retrofitting of a Selective Catalytic Reducer (SCR) on one generator of a container ship took some 6 weeks.

-         The cost of retrofitting SCRs is somewhat lower than scrubbers - USD 1/1.5 mill, but the operational costs are also significant.

-         Lower sulphur residual from blends are very limited and are not available in large quantities; de-sulphurisation of high sulphur residual in order to supply lower sulphur content fuels requires significant investment, which makes conversions for producing additional MDO more economically attractive.


Dr. Keith Michel has been involved in ship design and procurement projects for over 30 years with his recent work concentrating on oil tankers and LNG carriers. His company is involved in projects that explore after-treatment installations such as scrubbers and SCRs and conducts feasibility studies for such applications on different ships.


Dr. Rudolph Kassinger has a PhD in Chemistry and has been with the Esso/Exxon Corporation for more than 27 years in various departments such as research and engineering, refinery planning, fuel productions, etc. He has spent the last 21 years with Det Norske Veritas Petroleum Services as a consultant for fuel testing and has often acted as an expert witness.


Update on IACS Common Structural Rules


One year on from when the IACS Common Structural Rules came into force. it is timely that tanker operators receive an update on the latest developments and experiences gained by classification societies. The presentation was given by one of the leading authorities, Garry Horn of ABS, who has recently headed the IACS team that developed the IACS CSR for Tankers and continues this leadership within IACS in supporting the development of the IMO Goal Based Standards. He included elements that might be further addressed and developed in a future revision of the CSR. He urged tanker operators to make use of the CSR Knowledge Centre, which is an interactive tool and can be accessed on the IACS website.


Contact: Dragos Rauta