The S3 system distinguishes itself through its ability to always blend and adjust two fuels to the desired sulphur content as well as documenting sulphur content, enabling monitoring and control of sulphur emissions. The primary market for the S3 Smart Sulphur Switch is for vessels that occasionally need to enter an ECA meaning that the investment in a scrubber solution is not viable. The secondary market is for vessels, for example ferry operators in the Baltic who choose to install scrubbers that cannot handle more than 2% sulphur content due to space considerations. These operators can freely purchase the cheapest available HFO and blend it down to the sulphur content that their scrubber can handle.
Price and Running Costs
The price of the S3 Smart Sulphur Switch is 5% of a scrubber or approximately €140.000. Running costs are comparable to having a 100 Watt light bulb switched on, the manufacturer said. A scrubber has extremely high running costs in comparison as water needs to be pumped from the sea all the way up to the top of the stack, chemicals need to be purchased and stored safely on board, chemical waste is generated and needs to be stored on board, and logistics have to be in place in ports for safe removal of the chemical waste and shipped to a facility where the chemical waste can be safely disposed of. In conclusion, the running costs of the S3 Smart Sulphur Switch are totally negligible and are less than 0.1% of a scrubber.
Installation and maintenance
Maintenance of the S3 Smart Sulphur Switch is negligible apart from an annual calibration to ensure that the documentation generated will be accepted by authorities worldwide. Installation is very simple as the unit is supplied as a small skid so only a gas oil line and a HFO line need to be connected at one end, and a discharge line at the other end. The skid has a foot print comparable to a standard pallet. Electrically all that is required is a standard power plug connector. In reality the installation can be accomplished in a few hours and with minimum costs.
Based on the present pricing (August, 2013) of 3.5% sulphur HFO ($600/ton) and 0.1% sulphur MGO ($900/ton) a vessel using 1 ton/hour will be able to save approximately $6,000/day by blending the two fuels to 1% sulphur content compared to using 100% MGO.
Product Trials and Production Plans
Insatech A/S has developed prototypes that will be installed in the coming months. A proper production will be up and running by the end of the year. The S3 Smart Sulphur Switch has been developed in cooperation with O.W. Bunkers – one of the largest bunker outfits in the world – so trials are being conducted in cooperation with some of their major customers in Northern Europe.