February 24, 2015

SOx scrubbers - a billion dollar market

Founded only five years ago, Yara Marine Technologies (YMT) is today one of the three leading exhaust gas cleaning companies in the marine sector. As legislation on shipping emissions get increasingly stricter, YMT’s growth prospects are significant.
Cruise ship
Cruise ship

This is the second part of a 2-Part article on Yara Marine Technologies. Read Part 1 here.

Yara Marine Technologies, which has grown its revenues by 300 percent last year, is the leading provider of scrubbers for cruise ships, including the majority of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. French ferry operator Brittany Ferries became the latest company to equip its ship Normandie – which runs between Portsmouth, UK, and Caen, France – with YMT’s scrubbers. The company also has a strong foothold in the cargo market.

“YMT is approaching 100 scrubber system orders,” says Kai Låtun, Yara Marine Technologies Vice President Sales and Marketing. “The global overall scrubber system backlog today is about 220 vessels,” he adds. “We are in a market that is worth billions of dollars and our goal is to increase our footprint worldwide and get a stronger presence in all marine markets.

Stricter legislation ahead

Emission control area mapBy 2020, more than 15,000 ships are expected to be equipped with SOx scrubbers, representing a potential market of roughly one billion Euro according to recent report by certification company DNV GL Group. About 70-80 percent of that will be retrofits. New build ships will eventually take over as existing vessels get their installations.

Concerns related to the prevention and reduction of pollutions from seagoing vessels is growing and stricter legislation is set to follow. From January 1, 2015, ship operating in Emission Control Areas (currently coastal regions in northern Europe, the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada), must either run on more expensive low sulphur fuel (marine gas oil - 0.1% sulphur) or install exhaust gas cleaning systems to reduce SOx emissions, such as YMTs’ scrubbers. In 2020 or 2025, pending a decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a 0.5% sulphur cap will enter into force globally.

“The scrubber is a profitable investment for the ship owner because it allows him to continue to run on high sulphur oil instead of the much more expensive marine gas oil, while still complying with emission regulations,” YMT’s Låtun says. “The price differential between those two types of fuel and the legislation is what is driving the market. Our scrubbers allow ship owners to meet all reduction targets without spending a fortune.”

Ship owners are willing to take their environmental responsibilities seriously. As long as there is a level playing field, meaning if marine SOx regulations are enforced, the industry is willing to absorb the extra cost of reducing emissions at sea, according to the Trident Alliance – a coalition of shipping owners and operators that includes Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company.

Learn more about Yara Marine Technologies on their website.

To read more about Yara’s emission to air operations, check out the interview series with Stefano Bartoletti. Part 1 – Yara fights air pollution and Part 2 – Yara fights emissions at sea and Part 3 – Fighting emissions – Yara has big plans, or check out the Cleaner Air section on our website.