Norwegian shipowner MPC Container Ships has entered into agreements for the purchase of exhaust gas cleaning systems for five of its ships.
Under the deal, the scrubbers would be retrofitted on five selected vessels within the company’s fleet prior to the January 1, 2020 implementation date of the new sulphur emission cap regulation, as set forth by the International Maritime Organization.
MPC said that the agreements also include options to purchase scrubbers for up to 50 additional vessels, allowing for further installations in both 2019 and early 2020, respectively.
“Having conducted thorough analyses on the subject, we are excited about the opportunity to retrofit selected vessels with scrubbers as an economically attractive alternative of complying with the 2020 sulphur regulations. Moreover, the option to equip a larger portion of our fleet with scrubbers gives MPC Container Ships the strategic flexibility to adapt to new market environments as we deem fit,” Constantin Baack, CEO, said.
The company “will be carefully evaluating further scrubber installations, on a vessel by vessel basis, and exercise further options in due course.”
Additionally, the company informed that there is a significant interest from charterers for scrubber-fitted vessels and MPC is therefore in “well-advanced negotiations with charterers for mid- to longer-term charter parties at favourable rates.”
Simultaneously, the company is evaluating additional charters and seeks to take advantage of the high optionality of its scrubber agreements.
The investment program is expected to be financed with cash on hand and available debt capacity on the company’s existing fleet.