US-based container carrier Matson unveiled its plans to equip three vessels with scrubbers as it prepares for the IMO 2020 fuel requirement regulation.
Namely, the company earlier committed to a scrubber on one vessel operating in its China-Long Beach Express service, and now confirmed that it is moving forward with plans to install scrubbers on two more CLX ships, according to data revealed during Matson’s third quarter conference call.
Matson said that its current strategy is to install three scrubbers in fiscal 2019, adding that the expected scrubber installation cost would be around USD 9 million per vessel.
“The implementation of scrubbers on three of our five vessels allows us to continue to burn less expensive fuel,” Matt Cox, Chairman and CEO of Matson, said, adding that this puts the company in a good competitive position, regardless of the market conditions.
Cox explained that the company already has three scrubbers installed on its Alaska vessels to comply with the eco requirements that were in place. With the latest development, the company would see six of its 12 core vessels would feature scrubbers, three in the Alaska and nine in its Hawaii, Guam and China service.
Matson’s CEO said that the company will continue “to take a hard look” at the remaining six vessels, which include four new units and the remaining two ships.
“We are making no predictions, but at the next drydock period on those vessels, we will be taking a hard look at whether or not to install over time scrubbers on the remainder of our fleet,” Cox said.
“We expect to recover the incremental capital cost in the scrubbers through our fuel surcharge mechanism…we have fuel surcharge mechanisms in Hawaii and Guam and Alaska that allow us to effectively recover our fuel cost in the trades.”