Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Scrubbers on duty

 There can be little doubt that exhaust gas scrubbers have been a boon to the shipping industry. The devices have been fitted to many ships that otherwise would not be able to operate under new emissions regulations. Those ships have engines that could not be converted to use lighter low sulphur fuels. With scrubbbers they can continue to use heavy fuel oil and the scrubber washes out sulphur and nitrous oxides and particulate matter. Of course they are delaying the inevitable need to replace the ships with more environmentally sustainable systems, but such systems are not generally available yet, and even such alternatives as LNG still involve hydrocarbons. The shipping industry has recently set a carbon neutral target date of 2050, pinning their hopes on hydrogen fuel, but also using wind and other alternative technologies.

In the meantime ships with scrubbers arrive in Halifax daily. Today's arrivals allowed for a close up view of how the systems were fitted to existing ships that had no thought given to scrubbers when built.

MSC Manzanillo arrived this morning on MSC's new Turkey and Greece route, with a stop at MSC's Sines, Portugal hub. It anchored at first for CFIA inspection for LDA moth larva. Once given clearance it moved into PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub, South End Terminal.

The pilot boat Scotia Pilot embarks a pilot to move the ship from number one anchorage. The boat is water jet propelled and makes quite a fuss in close quarter maneuvering.

 The MSC Manzanillo dates from 2005 when it was built by Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction  - the forepart in Pusan and the stern and assembly in Ulsan. It is a 54,758 gt, 68,168 dwt ship with a capacity of 5060 TEU including 454 reefers.

Delivered as Juliette Rickmers, it was immediately renamed Maersk Davao until 2012, then Juliette Rickmers again. In 2017 it was renamed MP The Gronk when acquired by Mangrove Partners. All Mangrove ships were named after New England Patriots football players - this one after the tight end Ron Gronkowski. As with other Mangrove ships it was bought for US$ 7.5mn then sold to MSC in 2021 for more than US$60 mn. (See also Shipfax June 29 for fleet mate MSC Cancun, the former Mangrove ship MP The Brown.) 

Once alongside Pier 42, the positioning of the scrubber tower became clearer.

Some sacrifice of container stowage space appears to have been necessary to accommodate the large scrubber structure.

Early this afternoon another ship arrived with a scrubber. This time it was the Danish tanker Torm Thor arriving from China and Japan via the Panama Canal.

The MidRange tanker was built in 2015 by Sungdong Shipyard in Tongyeong, South Korea. The 29,609 gt, 49,667 dwt ship is one of more than 80 tankers owned and operated by Torm, and painted in their unique colour scheme.

The ship's scrubber has been integrated into the funnel and appears as one structure.

Unlike the Irving Oil tankers, the Torm Thor's scrubber has been painted in with the funnel colours. Irving's Acadian (in port June 26) for comparison: (you be the judge)

On sailing later this afternoon, Torm Thor gave its destination as Saglek Bay, a small port, very far north on the Labrador coast, at the head of a long inlet. It is likely it had CFIA clearance inspection while in Halifax.

I can't imagine what the ship will be doing there, although it may be a "jumping off point" for Greenland, which still has strong Danish connections. The ship appears to be loaded so it may be delivering fuel or even transhipping it, but it is hard to know where the cargo was loaded.


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