Rowan has contracted Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to supply 18 gas emission reduction systems for the three drillships that it ordered last year.
According to HHI, the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system can reduce mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by as much as 95% by using an catalyst that it developed that separates nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide into nitrogen and water.
Along with the SCR, the South Korean group is developing an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) type of gas emission reduction system too.
In June, the company also completed a test run of green gas marine engines, emitting 20% less CO2 than conventional diesel engines and reducing NOx emissions by 97% to reach the world’s lowest level of 50ppm (parts per million). Engine performance improved by 47%.
Analysts forecast the demand for gas emission reduction systems will surge in 2016 when International Maritime Organisation Tier III emission limit regulations come into effect.
Under those maritime regulations, ships built from 2016 are to reduce NOx 80% less than Tier I level to 1.96 grammes and 3.4g per kilowatt hour.
Given that mobile offshore drilling units . . . ships, semi-submersibles and jack-ups are intensive users of energy, the new regulations are expected to have a considerable impact on the carbon footprint of post 2015 new-builds.