Clipper Group has announce that it has converted one HFO tank on six of its 30,000 dwt Trader type bulk carriers into MGO tanks.
The decision was taken by the company to allow the vessels to comply with the latest sulphur regulations (MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14.4) as well as to slash spending.
According to a statement from Clipper, “The conversion reduces unnecessary costs of frequent bunker operations and delays. Simultaneously, it makes the vessels more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and thereby compliant with current legislation. As an extra benefit, the physical separation of piping makes it very unlikely to mix the two fuel grades by mistake."
From 1 January 201 low sulphur content fuels must be used by cargo vessels in Emission Control Areas. Marine Gas Oil (MGO) is one of the only fuel types to offer a sulphur percentage low enough to satisfy the regulations.
One of the converted vessels is the Clipper Tarpon. Before the conversion, her MGO tank capacity was 143.4 m3. After the conversion she could contain 564.4 m3. This improvement allows the vessel to sail for a longer period without additional bunker calls inside emission controlled areas. The group's in-house technical department, Clipper Fleet Management docked the vessel in Turkey for approximately three weeks during which she also had her piping optimised into separate HFO and MGO systems. The MGO conversion itself took around eight days and did not add to the docking time.
Clipper added: "We believe that improved performance can be achieved through innovative thinking and looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footstep. Our ultimate goal is to have a dependable fleet that always lives up to its full potential."