Fujairah latest to ban open-loop scrubbers

The Port of Fujairah has banned the use of open-loop scrubbers Photo: wikimedia The Port of Fujairah has banned the use of open-loop scrubbers Photo: wikimedia

The Port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates has become the latest port to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers from 2020 over environmental concerns.

In a faxed Notice to Mariners, harbour master Captain Tamer Masoud, advised that “Port of Fujairah has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its water. Ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulphur cap comes into force.”

The port follows others around the world including Singapore and Dublin in Ireland and Waterford, also in Ireland, which has banned open-loop scrubbers with immediate effect. China’s maritime industry also banned the discharge of ‘wash-water’ in all rivers and ports from 1 January.

Open-loop scrubbers are the most straightforward scrubbing method, taking advantage of the natural alkalinity of seawater. Exhaust gases enter the scrubber where they are sprayed with seawater. The SOx reacts with the water forming sulphuric acid which is then discharged into the surrounding waters. In closed-loop systems, chemicals are used to remove the harmful sulphur compounds and the water is recycled internally.

The open-loop practice has come under heavy criticism recently due to concerns over the environmental impact of wash-water. Advocates of the practice maintain that it is not harmful.

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