Open-loop scrubbers to stay in use

EGCS Exhaust gas cleaning system basic components. Credit: EGCSA

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) said it has received no-objection letters from more than 20 port authorities indicating they won’t ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in their waters.

After members of the CSA 2020 Executive Committee presented port officials with scientific evidence concluding that the wastewater generated by the exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) process was environmentally acceptable and within regulatory limits, the ports in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia indicated that they do not intend to submit any papers to the IMO pertaining to EGCS operation unless new, compelling research comes to light.

CSA 2020 executive committee member Christopher Fee, general manager, environment and sustainability at Oldendorff Carriers, said: “After research carried out by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan has now stated it will not ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters and we hope to have more written confirmations in place soon.”

Second thoughts

The number of global ports with declared restrictions remains low and ports that have decided to ban scrubbers are beginning to have second thoughts, said CSA 2020.

“It appears that some ports are revoking their earlier decisions to restrict open-loop scrubber use now that more academic studies have been made publicly available,” commented Mr Fee.

In February, DNV GL verified a three-year study based on 281 wash water samples from 53 different EGCS-equipped vessels, concluding that the samples were well within the allowable IMO criteria, as well as within the limits of other major water standards.

A study carried out by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has also concluded that no short-term or long-term effects on marine organisms can be caused by use of the technology.

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