Eight more DFDS ferries will be fitted with exhaust scrubbers during 2014 ahead of new environmental regulations coming into force in northern Europe at the start of the following year, from when sulphur emissions have to be cut to no more than 0.1 per cent.

Following successful trials with Alfa Laval PureSOx equipment to remove sulphur from exhaust gases aboard Ficaria Seaways from 2009, DFDS is already committed to retrofitting Petunia Seaways, Magnolia Seaways and Sealandia Seaways during visits to Gdansk’s Remontowa yard, in a DKr100 million (£11.5 million) contract at the beginning of next year. Now the Danish operator is spending a further DKr300 million (£34.5 million) to handle eight more fleet members as chief executive Niels Smedegaard says steps must be taken to ensure that sea transport does not become too expensive.

‘Not all shipping companies have the opportunity to make the major investment that a scrubber system requires. In addition, only about half of all ships are suitable for having scrubbers fitted and, in reality, LNG (liquified natural gas) is only a solution for new ships. We must act quickly to find solutions and, preferably, transition rules for the many ships that are not suitable for scrubber installation, possibly through temporary exemptions,’ he commented.

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