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ALFA LAVAL CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF PURESOx SCRUBBER OPERATION

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 

Alfa Laval has reminded the industry that the arrival of 2019 leaves just one year until the global sulphur cap becomes reality. But as the marine industry scrambles to ready itself, the company says an important milestone has already been reached, with the new year marking a decade since the first vessel set sail with a PureSOx scrubber on board.

In 2009, the ro-ro vessel DFDS Ficaria Seaways entered dry dock for an expansion of its cargo space. While the vessel was being rebuilt, a hybrid PureSOx system – able to perform closed-loop as well as open-loop scrubbing – was retrofitted to clean the exhaust gas from its 21 MW main engine (see picture). At the time of the pilot installation, the prospects for SOx scrubbers were anything but certain.

“Ten years ago, there were many who didn’t think SOx scrubbers were feasible,” said Erik Haveman, Sales Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning at Alfa Laval. “People simply weren’t convinced that a scrubber could meet ECA limits while operating in a marine environment, and the doubts about closed-loop scrubbing were even greater. Alfa Laval had sold scrubbers as part of inert gas systems for many years, and we had the water cleaning expertise needed for closed-loop operation. But the system and the challenges here were on a completely new scale.”

A decade later, both the scrubber and the centrifugal water cleaning unit, forming the PureSOx system on Ficaria Seaways, have spent thousands of hours in compliant operation, and are still going strong, as is every other PureSOx system installed.

“The ten-year mark is an important milestone for Alfa Laval, but it also holds weight for customers facing the global sulphur cap,” Haveman said. “It means that our claims about PureSOx are not theoretical, but have been proven at sea, time and time again.”

During the course of the past ten years, PureSOx has been installed on vessels of nearly every type. This experience is valuable in the current wave of retrofits, where limited space demands practical answers. Alfa Laval has found solutions not only to vessel complexity, but also for the complex process of working with shipyards, engineering companies and the other partners involved.

Perhaps more important, however, is the head start Alfa Laval claims in scrubber services and optimisation. The company has amassed a significant body of working knowledge, packaged into the PureSOx service offering, which has now been extended to help customers optimize their systems through scrubber connectivity.

“With our PureSOx Connect offering, we’re entering the next phase even as other suppliers are just entering the market,” said Haveman.

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