November 14, 2018

Paul Pathy tells TradeWinds Forum in Tokyo exhaust gas cleaning systems damage the environment.

Fednav chief executive Paul Pathy said he will not fit an exhaust gas scrubber to a single ship in his fleet of 100 plus handsize and handymax bulk carriers and wishes he could convince others to follow.

Speaking at the TradeWinds Shipowners forum held in Tokyo this week, Pathy said he would comply with the IMO 2020 limit on sulphur emissions by burning cleaner fuel.

However he admitted it might make financial sense to operators of larger bulkers where ships burn more fuel and could profit by installing a scrubber.

Asked how he intended to comply with 2020 Pathy said: “Fednav is preparing by not doing anything. I don’t believe in the scrubber idea, I don’t believe it is good for the environment but I understand people with bigger ships have a different problem. Some have no choice but to do it so I don’t judge other people’s positions.”

My plan is to get all the shipsowners to agree not to use scrubbers for our company it is not the best option and I don’t believe it’s good for the environment.”

The main environmental problem is that open loop scrubbers discharge the sulphur that has been washed out of the ship emissions into the sea. There is an ongoing debate in the shipping industry as to whether this causes environmental damage.

However some suggest Fednav has little option but to turn down scrubbers. Scrubbers do not really make financial sense for smaller bulk carriers because of their comparatively low fuel consumption.

Fednav also operates in the environmentally sensitive region of the Great Lakes and Canadian Arctic where discharge from open loop scrubbers is unlikely to be welcomed by the coastal authorities.

Pathy has a close relationship with Japan. It has built nearly all its owned and long term chartered fleet in the country and has a particularly strong relationship with the Sumitomo group’s Oshima Shipbuilding.

Pathy said Japan is offering ships “that is at a higher level than non Japanese competitors.” Where do you stand on the great scrubber debate? Share your thoughts with TradeWinds in our online poll.

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