Scrubbing systems approved for Algoma's Equinox-class bulkers

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The following is the text of a news release from Algoma Central Corp.:

(ST. CATHARINES, Ontario) (Oct. 31) — Algoma Central Corp., the largest Canadian shipowner and operator of domestic Great Lakes vessels, announces that it has received all requisite approvals of its exhaust gas scrubbing systems installed on its Equinox class of vessels. The scrubber units, manufactured by Wärtsilä, are designed to remove 97 percent of sulfur oxide emissions generated by vessel engines.

The scrubber concept works with fresh water recirculating in a closed-loop system. Sulfur oxides are washed out of the exhaust then neutralized. Contaminants are disposed of at reception facilities in port. All vessel emissions meet exacting IMO, US EPA and Canadian regulatory standards. 

Commissioning of the first scrubber unit installed on the Algoma Equinox, the first built of the eight vessel series, was completed by a team from the manufacturer Wärtsilä, together with Algoma technical and shipboard personnel during this past summer and the system underwent rigorous testing in early September. 

"Testing confirmed the scrubber's effectiveness at removing 97 percent of the sulfur oxide emissions from all engine exhaust streams on board the Algoma Equinox," said Rob Houston, Algoma's director – Technical. He added: "The approvals apply to each of the seven other Equinox-class ships, including two CWB-owned ships." Commissioning of the scrubber on board the Algoma Harvester, the second Equinox-class ship to arrive, has commenced. The third Equinox-class arrival will be the CWB Marquis, due to arrive in Canada by the end of this year.

Greg Wight, president and CEO of Algoma, said, "we are extremely pleased to have the first unit commissioned and approved for use. Equinox-class ships are not only the most fuel-efficient ships operating on the Great Lakes, they are now the cleanest." 

Mira Hube, Algoma's director – Environment, said, "Equinox-class vessels are helping us to achieve our strategic objective to improve the energy efficiency of our fleet and now also to significantly reduce our environmental footprint through the use of these scrubbers."

Equinox-class ships have been designed with high efficiency hulls that will require less horsepower to achieve higher speeds than any previous Great Lakes design and thus achieve the lowest fuel consumption and emissions per tonne/kilometer of cargo carried, an improvement of 45 percent over existing ships owned by Algoma.

The Equinox series includes four gearless bulk carriers, two of which are owned by the CWB but operated and commercially managed by Algoma, plus four self-unloaders. By the end of 2014, three Equinox-class gearless bulkers will have been delivered with the fourth gearless bulker coming early in the 2015 navigation season.

The first two Equinox-class self-unloaders are expected to arrive later in 2015 with the remaining two self-unloaders arriving in 2016.

By Professional Mariner Staff