SINGAPORE, March 26 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Trafigura will install scrubbers on its fleet of newbuild tankers to comply with new regulations from 2020 that will slash sulphur levels that ships are allowed to burn, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Monday.
* Trafigura confirmed an order, announced last June, for up to 32 newbuild crude oil and product tankers, for delivery from late this year although most will arrive in the first quarter of 2019.
* “The first vessels will be delivered in October this year. All will be equipped with scrubbers,” the Trafigura spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
* The spokesperson declined to provide further details on the cost of installing the scrubbers.
* The new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will cut the amount of sulphur emissions that ships worldwide are allowed to 0.5 percent by 2020, from 3.5 percent currently.
* One way ships can comply with the new standards is to retrofit vessels with costly scrubbers, which can reduce sulphur emissions even if ships continue to burn dirty fuel oil.
* Some industry analysts initially forecast a low uptake of scrubbers by the shipping industry due to high upfront investment costs associated with the devices as well as uncertainties around possible regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from 2023. (Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Susan Fenton)