Dry bulker owner Safe Bulkers has so far completed detailed engineering studies for scrubber installation on five vessels as part of its IMO 2020 preparations.
The studies are in the final stage of completion for another eight vessels and are on track to be completed within the first quarter of 2019, the company added.
Safe Bulkers expects to install scrubbers in 19 vessels – close to a half of its fleet – this year, starting with four units in the second quarter. This will be followed by nine in the third quarter and six in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The majority of installations will be concurrent with the ships’ dry-docking periods. The procedure will be carried out by Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry (Cosco) under an agreement announced in September 2018.
An additional scrubber will be installed on one of the company’s Capesize bulkers after the IMO 2020 deadline, at the request of the charterer, the cost of which will be reimbursed by the charterer.
The update was provided by the company as part of its 2018 financial report. Safe Bulkers closed a positive 2018 with a fourth quarter net income of USD 9.5 million compared to a net loss of USD 86.6 million during the same period in 2017. Revenues increased by 24% to USD 52.6 million, compared to USD 42.4 million for 4Q 2017.
The company returned to profit in the first quarter of 2018 and staying afloat for the remainder of the year.
Net revenues for 2018 increased by 31% to USD 193.2 million from USD 148 million during the same period in 2017. Net income was USD 27.7 million compared to a net loss of USD 84.7 million reported in 2017.
“We closed 2018 profitably, having refinanced a large portion of our debt, targeting smooth debt profile for the next five years and gradual deleverage. We acquired one second-hand vessel and one resale newbuild for 2020 and bought back one vessel under sale and lease back agreement. We implement BWTS investments,” Loukas Barmparis, Safe Bulkers president, said.
“In view of IMO 2020 sulphur cap regulation we are installing scrubbers in about half of our fleet during 2019, while we have selected to compete on the basis of vessels’ fuel consumption for the remaining part of our fleet.”
Safe Bulkers’ operational fleet consists of 41 drybulk vessels, including 14 Panamax class vessels, 10 Kamsarmax class vessels, 13 post-Panamax class vessels and 4 Capesize class vessels.
The company also has a post-Panamax newbuild vessel on order. The Japanese-built unit is expected to be delivered within the first half of 2020.