Scrubber suppliers that rely on Chinese manufacturing and installation capacity have been hit hard by Covid-19. While equipment and labour shortages are starting ease, persistent delays have prompted some shipowners to pursue retrofits in regions where the bottleneck is far less severe.

One such place is South Korea, the home of Global Echo. The company introduced its signature exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) for ships in 2018 and has been gaining market share ever since.

Customers include Vitol, Zodiac Maritime and Hyundai Merchant Marine, among others.

Global Echo is equipped to complete retrofits, from order to installation, in as few as five months. Drydocking isn’t required which, as previously reported, gives the MS-SOx system an edge in an increasingly competitive sector.

Global Echo completed the Elandra Osprey retrofit on 15 March. Pre-onboard installation took 13 days. Only six were needed for final assembly, commissioning and seatrials at Samkang S&C Shipyard in Goseong, South Korea. Photo: Global Echo

Today, the company claims the coronavirus hasn’t derailed its campaign to expand. Management notes that, despite the pandemic, it recently completed a retrofit involving the 158,000-dwt tanker Elandra Osprey (built 2018) without issue and lined up orders linked to a pair of capesize bulkers.

“Our delivery time, and broader commercial goals for that matter, have not been impacted by the virus,” it said when pressed about the pandemic.

Despite the recent drop in oil prices Global Echo believes its new orders are a testament to continued demand for scrubbers among operators that see investments in EGCS technologies as a more economical path to compliance with IMO 2020 than the alternative: very low sulphur fuel oil.

Whether you’re considering its system, or a competitor’s, Global Echo is equipped to provide guidance. The easiest way to get in touch is by contacting SJ Lee via email.