Jan 30: Algoma Central Corporation (Algoma), the largest Canadian ship-owner and operator of domestic, Great Lakes vessels, announced that it will install fresh water, exhaust gas scrubbers on six new vessels that will remove 97% of sulfur oxides emissions generated by vessel engines. The St. Catharines, Ontario-based company has signed a contract with Wärtsilä Ship Power for the supply of the systems for its Equinox Class vessels, which are currently being built by Chinese shipbuilder Nantong Mingde Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. The total supply and installation cost of the six scrubber systems is US$12 million.
The two gearless bulk carriers and four self-unloading bulk carriers are designed specifically for Great Lakes service. These ships have been designed with high efficiency hulls that will require less horsepower to achieve higher speeds than any previous Great Lakes design and thus achieve the lowest fuel consumption and emissions per tonne/kilometre of cargo carried. The first Equinox Class vessel will arrive in Canada in the first half of 2013.
The Algoma order is the first for Wärtsilä's new, integrated, fresh water, exhaust gas scrubber design. The scrubbers are designed to clean the exhaust gases of the vessels' main and auxiliary engines as well as the oil-fired boiler and will meet more stringent environmental regulations taking effect over the next three years. The scrubber systems will allow ship-owners to use lower cost, heavy fuel oils while, at the same time, meet the new Emission Control Area sulfur limits established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and adopted by Canada and the United States for the Great Lakes and coastal waters. Without scrubber technology, ship-owners will be forced to convert vessels to burn more expensive diesel oil.
The Wärtsilä scrubber concept works with fresh water recirculating in a closed-loop system. Sulfur oxides that are washed out of the exhaust are neutralized with caustic soda. A small amount of scrubbing water is continuously extracted and an on board water treatment unit removes other captured contaminants such as particulate matter. A major advantage of fresh water scrubbers is the possibility to operate in a zero discharge mode which means that there is no effluent (waste product) from the scrubber discharged into the lake water. The treated, clean effluents would be held in a holding tank for discharge at an appropriate location. Solid contaminants are disposed of at reception facilities in port.
Access a release from Algoma and distributed by American Great Lakes Ports Association (click here).