During last week’s Greener Shipping Summit 2019, the speakers and delegates often appeared to be still at odds over how to meet the new environmental regulations with just a month-and-a-half to go until the International Maritime Organization sulfur cap comes into force.
Organized by Newsfront/Naftiliaki, with the support of Martecma, Greece’s influential marine technical managers association, the conference bought together some 500 delegates from 14 countries representing 255 companies and organizations.
It heard keynote speaker George Prokopiou, a leading shipowner, stress, “We have to clean up our environment, and therefore there is a need for the desirable to be doable.”
Without mincing his words, Prokopiou criticized the solution of scrubbers that many shipowners have resorted to to meet the low-sulfur limit for the fuel they use, saying that scrubbers are a hypocrisy as they “simply transfer the emissions from the air to the sea.”
He added that the technology exists for the refiners to produce compliant fuel and they should do so. He felt liquefied natural gas was not the answer either and said he would not order an LNG-fueled ship.
Scrubber system makers hit back and presented some impressive figures regarding the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems, while scrubber system operation and service experience presented revealed relatively few failures, according to MAN Energy Solutions, which has been involved in scrubber system development since 2005.