According to the shipping industry network, it is five months before the IMO sulfur restriction order takes effect on January 1, 2020. At present, the global container fleet has begun to seriously install desulfurization tower. According to alphaliner, 31 container ships were installed in July alone, with a total capacity of 350000 TEU.
Researcher alphaliner said that in order to meet the sulfur restriction order and cooperate with the installation of desulfurization tower, the 31 container ships with a total capacity of 350000 TEU have been suspended from operation. Since June last year, a total of 39 vessels have completed the installation of desulfurization tower, including 10 vessels that have installed desulfurization tower from 2011 to 2016.
According to alphaliner, on average, each ship has to wait 52 days in the shipyard to complete the installation of desulfurization tower. However, this period also includes the extended stay time of the ship due to other repairs.
The industry estimates that in the coming months, the number of container ships installed with desulfurization towers will increase significantly. It is expected that more than 550 container ships will be temporarily withdrawn from the market to install desulfurization towers when the sulfur restriction order takes effect. In addition, 218 new container ships will be delivered with desulfurization towers.
If the ship has not installed desulfurization tower before the end of this year, then it will have to use low sulfur fuel oil, which contains no more than 0.5% sulfur. Therefore, desulfurization tower has actually become the basic plan for liner companies to replace low sulfur fuel oil. Alphaliner has previously pointed out that the popularity of desulfurization tower is partly due to the uncertainty of the price of low sulfur fuel oil.
However, the price of desulfuration tower is also falling sharply. Now, alphaliner says, the unit price of desulfurization tower is between $3 million and $5 million. A year ago, the unit price was between $5 million and $8 million.
Alphaliner said the drop in prices made the tower more attractive to shipowners, who no longer questioned the attitude of several shipping companies, including Maersk, to install the tower.