Sustainability Report 2017

Shaping the technology transformation

Measured by their CO2 emissions, ships are among the most environmentally-friendly modes of transport. But because heavy oil is generally used as fuel, ships generate significant SO2 emissions. To reduce these emissions, the International Maritime Organization substantially lowered the thresholds for the sulfur content in the fuel: From 2020, the level worldwide can be a maximum of 0.5 percent. In the North Sea and Baltic Sea as well as on the coasts of North America, a threshold of 0.1 percent has been in place since 2015.

“With the scrubber process that we developed, we make a major contribution to the protection of the environment on the world’s waterways.”

Andreas Breeger Head of maritime flue gas cleaning systems
Bilfinger Engineering & Technologies

In order to achieve the new limits, ships must be upgraded. Bilfinger has developed a relevant solution and offers it to customers in the form of “scrubbers”. Our decades of experience in flue gas desulfurization has helped us to develop different procedures for desulfurization for ship engines”, says Andreas Breeger, Head of maritime flue gas cleaning systems at Bilfinger Engineering & Technologies. “Today, customers can choose from between open loop, closed loop for a hybrid system – as a single line or as a multi-stream solution. In each case, sulfurous emissions are “scrubbed” with the help of the natural alkalinity of the sea water or through the addition of an aggregate material which reduces it to below the required threshold.”

MT Aurelia of shipping company Carl Büttner Shipmanagement

Installation of scrubber technology

As part of a pilot project with the MT Aurelia and shipping company Carl Büttner Shipmanagement, the innovative procedure was tested for the first time by Bilfinger. “The effort needed to install the scrubbers is minimal and can therefore be carried out quickly. The scrubber is space-saving and pays for itself within two to three years”, says Breeger. “A solution that we are all very proud of, because it allows us to make a significant contribution to the protection of the environment on the world’s waters.” Our customers are also impressed by the solution that has been developed: “With Bilfinger Engineering & Technologies we have gained a very competent and, above all else, reliable partner for flue-gas purification. The economic advantages of the scrubber concept and the many years of experience from Bilfinger Engineering & Technologies were what convinced us”, says Lars Bremer, Managing Director of Carl Büttner Shipmanagement.