A new player has become the market leader in the marine exhaust sulphur emissions reduction sector, after Hamworthy completed the acquisition of Krystallon Limited.
Fluid handling systems supplier Hamworthy has acquired the company that pioneered gas scrubber development as a commercially viable alternative to costly low sulphur content distillates, to comply with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) MARPOL Annex VI regulations on emissions.
Last year IMO agreed the concept of Emission Control Areas, ruling that the maximum sulphur content in fuels used in such zones must be cut to 1.5%, then to 1% by 2012, and to 0.1% in 2015. The regulations are already in force in the North Sea, English Channel and the Baltic. Similarly the US and Canada have applied for ECA status for the waters extending 200 Nm from their coasts. Other countries are expected to follow suit. A global limit of 0.5% Sulphur content in the fuel has been proposed from 2020.
Over the last four years, Krystallon has supplied two shipboard and two on-shore gas scrubbing systems capable of cutting sulphur emissions from plant burning residual fuel oil with a sulphur content of 3.5% by as much as 98%.
Trials and operations of Krystallon’s plant were material to IMO sanctioning gas scrubbers as a permissible alternative to low sulphur marine distillate fuel to meet its emissions targets.
Hamworthy Chief Executive Joe Oatley said: "The emerging market for marine sulphur emissions reduction is an exciting global opportunity underpinned by international environmental regulations. The acquisition of Krystallon is consistent with our strategy of expanding the Group's technological base in long-term growth markets."
The renamed Hamworthy Krystallon will be part of the Inert Gas Systems division where Hamworthy has more than 40 years experience of sea water scrubbing, as well as extensive project management and manufacturing resources.
“While low sulphur content fuel had attracted wide attention, gas scrubbing has now proved itself as a workable, lower cost alternative,” said Hamworthy Krystallon new managing director Sigurd Jenssen. He added that, as well as eliminating almost all sulphur emissions, gas scrubbing cut particulate emissions by up to 80%.
“Hamworthy’s experience in seawater scrubbing and its global manufacturing and service network will be critical in ensuring that this technical solution can now reach a wider audience,” Mr Jenssen said.
Hamworthy Krystallon’s scrubber system is an open loop design that neutralises scrubbed acid gasses using the carbonate/bicarbonate naturally occurring in sea water. Fitted into the ship’s funnel space, the unit can be operated at temperatures of up to 450oC.
Initially trialled on board the P&O ferry Pride of Kent, the Krystallon solution was subsequently installed on the Holland America Lines cruise ship Zaandam, and as part of onshore plants in Greece and Japan. The technology can be applied to scrub the exhaust from both two and four stroke engines as well as boiler systems.
The units so far delivered have worked in combination with diesel engines in the 1MW – 8MW power range, but Krystallon has developed designs to work with engines of up to 67MW.