Finnlines has made an economically-sound investment in eco-friendly scrubbers to comply with existing and future SOx emission regulations. “The initial intention was to comply with the SOx emission control area limits by cooperating with known partners
and investing in cost-efficient technology,” says Juha Ahia, Manager Newbuildings and Projects at Finnlines.
Finnlines management has made a significant investment in scrubbers for their vessels and considered the payback time to be feasible enough to install them and to fulfil the internal ROCE requirement. To date, 19 of Finnlines’ 21 vessels have scrubbers,
both from Wärtsilä and other suppliers and 3 ro-pax on the Finnlink route have the full Wärtsilä hybrid inline scrubbers. “We ordered Wärtsilä’s open loop scrubbers for all six of our Jinling-built vessels
in 2014 (MS Finnbreeze and her sister vessels) with installations starting in 2015,” says Mr Ahia.
Open loop scrubbers remove SOx from the exhaust by utilising the natural alkalinity in seawater. Seawater is sprayed on the exhaust, and the SOx in the exhaust reacts with water to form sulphuric acid, which is neutralised to sulphates by the natural
alkalinity in seawater.
According to Mr. Ahia, Finnlines considered Wärtsilä to be among the most reliable players in the industry. Many of Finnlines’ vessels have Wärtsilä engines. “Nearly all our scrubbers are of an open-loop type, except for two Wärtsilä hybrid installations. The scrubbers wash the exhausts, and they work as expected. The performance is acceptable, no doubt about that.”
Mr. Ahia says that Wärtsilä provides high-quality installation support. Finnlines has contracted all the scrubber installations themselves, and they have received all the necessary support for installation engineering and the installation itself from Wärtsilä. “In the end, it all boils down to the individuals involved in each project. I have no complaints about the Wärtsilä staff we have worked with.”
In general, there are almost always some challenges with an installation. For retrofit installations, space can be a problem. “Finding enough space for the piping system is maybe the biggest single challenge,” says Mr. Ahia.
Mr. Ahia is satisfied with the fact that the vessels comply with the emission limits set by environmental legislation. “The most important benefit by far is that we can run on less costly HFO and at the same time comply with the environmental requirements.”