Several port authorities around the world have confirmed that they have no intention of banning the use of open-loop scrubbers in their waters, according to the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020).
More than 20 ports covering Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia submitted written approvals and no-objection letters on the matter following meetings between port officials and CSA 2020 Executive Committee members.
CSA 2020 said that the ports approached indicated that they do not intend to submit any papers to IMO pertaining to EGCS operation unless new, compelling research comes to light.
“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,” CSA 2020 Executive Committee member Christopher Fee, General Manager, Environment and Sustainability, Oldendorff Carriers, said.
While the number of global ports with declared restrictions remains low, CSA 2020 said that those that have decided to ban scrubbers “are beginning to have second thoughts.”
“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,” Fee said, without revealing the details on these ports.
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 MLIT has also concluded that no short-term or long-term effects on marine organisms can be caused by the use the technology.
Most scrubbers are designed to remove the pollutants that contribute most to a wide range of serious health problems. These systems remove the greater part of Sulphur Oxides (SOx) from the exhaust gases of ships’ engines and boilers, as well as up to 94% of the Particulate Matter (PM), up to 60% of the Black Carbon (BC) and a significant amount of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), according to CSA 2020.
“The industry must not lose sight of the reason behind the introduction of the global sulphur cap and the effect sulphur oxide emissions has on human health. Marine exhaust gas cleaning systems are the best way of reducing shipping’s environmental impact by preventing air pollution whether a ship is at sea or in port,” CSA 2020 Chairman, Mike Kaczmarek, Vice-President, Carnival Corporation, concluded.